My reports of the physical conditions here fail to convey my emotions. Anyone who has been absent from St. Maarten for many months, like my wife and I, is likely to feel an overwhelming sense of joy and relaxation upon returning to this island. It is absolutely good to be here.

Most locations don't smell of sargassum -- they smell of clean ocean air. The sand at Mullet is white, and this morning a small stingray was swimming in the waves, almost at the beach. Ribs and chicken still fall off the bone, and a cold Carib still tastes the way it should, especially when sand is between one's toes.