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Trip report: Second edition #166107
07/19/2018 04:55 AM
07/19/2018 04:55 AM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 85
AUCspouse Offline OP
Traveler
AUCspouse  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 85
Yesterday we drove around the island.

- Maho is a construction zone. Steel framing still at the resort; stucco work and paint are finished at the casino.

- The usual crowd of idiots at the end of the runway.

- Divi Resort at Little Bay has invested in lots of new landscaping, and the place is looking sharp. A snorkeling investigation revealed a big drop in the number of black urchins, but most of the usual fish species were well represented.

- The dump behind Philipsburg isn't burning. One monster cruise ship in port -- looked like it was 14 stories high, but I may be exaggerating.

- There was a relaxed and friendly crowd at Club Orient. Perch Lite now defines Happy Hour as 1:30 to 2:30. Unfortunately there is a 2- or 3-foot wide band of sargassum along the entire beach. Yesterday was windy, and the man who rents chairs and umbrellas says this is the third windy day in a row. Waves were high, and floating sargassum made swimming a little unpleasant. Snorkeling along the reef was a little challenging due to waves and current.

- Bikini Restaurant has a cheerful group of new green beach umbrellas. The beach crowd was quite small. Customers were drinking at the bar, and a few were having meals at the restaurant. Three or four guys were taking advantage of the windy conditions to kite-surf.

- Roofers are working at some of the buildings facing the beach.

- At Cul-de-Sac, the smell of rotting sargassum, which is piled in 6-foot hills, is almost overpowering. Still, the usual crowd of people were sitting on benches at the pier, and the ferry to Ile Pinel seemed to be operating. I inquired about Vanou -- he's the fisherman who sells fish at the market in Marigot, and takes people out to Tintamarre on Sundays. We were told that Vanou is fine, still fishing, and that his boat survived the hurricane just fine.

- No signs of runway extension work at the Grand Case airport.

- Grande Case was hit hard. Three or four restaurants are open, amid the shattered buildings. The Catholic Church still has no roofing - just exposed plywood sheathing.

- The solar panels on the roof of the fire station between Grande Case and Marigot were damaged during Irma -- about 20% of the panels are missing or damaged. The solar system hasn't been repaired.

- At the house between Grande Case and Marigot, the one which has year-round Christmas decorations - near the intersection of the road to Anse Aux Peres - there are no longer any Christmas decorations.

- As usual, the traffic from Grande Case to Marigot is the most congested on the island.

- In Marigot, the T-shirt and souvenir stands in the square were open. Both bakeries across from the market are closed.

- Sandy Ground has damaged houses, of course, but retail establishments are open, and street life looked as usual.

- Baie Nettle is different -- Sands and Dreams are totally gone.

- The French authorities installed brand new utility poles for electricity from Baie Nettle to Basses Terres.

- Still haven't seen Saba.

Last edited by AUCspouse; 07/19/2018 08:25 AM.
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Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: AUCspouse] #166108
07/19/2018 05:08 AM
07/19/2018 05:08 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 13,897
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 13,897
Ohio
Thanks for another update.


J.D.
Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: AUCspouse] #166110
07/19/2018 06:29 AM
07/19/2018 06:29 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,995
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
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RonDon  Offline
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Posts: 2,995
Rhode Island
Great concise report on conditions. Many thanks.

Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: AUCspouse] #166117
07/19/2018 08:43 AM
07/19/2018 08:43 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 657
Western MA
S
SandS Offline
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SandS  Offline
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S
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 657
Western MA
Thank you for the information.

Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: AUCspouse] #166118
07/19/2018 08:46 AM
07/19/2018 08:46 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 68,266
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 68,266
Central Florida!
thanks for the report. Sorry to hear about the Christmas house. I wonder whether they will put up decorations this year...


Carol Hill
Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: AUCspouse] #166124
07/19/2018 09:16 AM
07/19/2018 09:16 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 6,923
St Louis, MO
SXMNorm Offline
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SXMNorm  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 6,923
St Louis, MO
Enjoying your tour, although although sad with the visuals.


Next SXM visit - October 25-Nov8, 2019, Jan25-Feb13, 2020
Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: AUCspouse] #166125
07/19/2018 09:24 AM
07/19/2018 09:24 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,193
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Posts: 12,193
Brookfield, CT.
Thank you for the report. Sad to hear much of it but good to know all of it.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: AUCspouse] #166126
07/19/2018 09:40 AM
07/19/2018 09:40 AM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 85
AUCspouse Offline OP
Traveler
AUCspouse  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 85
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.

Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: AUCspouse] #166127
07/19/2018 09:42 AM
07/19/2018 09:42 AM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 662
Florida
W
wilsonck Offline
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wilsonck  Offline
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W
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 662
Florida
Originally Posted by AUCspouse
Yesterday we drove around the island.

- In Marigot, the T-shirt and souvenir stands in the square were open. Both bakeries across from the market are closed.


According to a post of facebook, Sarafina's will be re-opening in Marina Royal around September/October.

Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: AUCspouse] #166128
07/19/2018 09:54 AM
07/19/2018 09:54 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 423
Maine
SXMbeacher Online content
Traveler
SXMbeacher  Online Content
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Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 423
Maine
Thanks for the great reports and updates! How was the debris around Orient and Club O while snorkeling?



[Linked Image]


Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: SXMbeacher] #166129
07/19/2018 09:58 AM
07/19/2018 09:58 AM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 85
AUCspouse Offline OP
Traveler
AUCspouse  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 85
No noticeable debris in the water. The two anchored rafts are gone, of course, as is the line of floats parallel to shore. The usual anchored boats aren't there.

The floating sargassum was the issue, not man-made debris.

Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: AUCspouse] #166136
07/19/2018 10:59 AM
07/19/2018 10:59 AM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 401
Northern California
T
thesimpsons Offline
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thesimpsons  Offline
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T
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 401
Northern California
Thank you for your report!

Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: AUCspouse] #166138
07/19/2018 11:08 AM
07/19/2018 11:08 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 423
Maine
SXMbeacher Online content
Traveler
SXMbeacher  Online Content
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Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 423
Maine
That's good news! I've seen some beer bottles, and broken beer bottles in front of Club O pre Irma, but not too many. I'm sure the floats didn't stand a chance!



[Linked Image]


Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: AUCspouse] #166139
07/19/2018 11:30 AM
07/19/2018 11:30 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,757
Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
Biturbo Offline
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Biturbo  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,757
Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
Nice report - very enjoyable reading. Thanks.


"It's a magic kind of medicine, that no doctor could prescribe." JB
Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: AUCspouse] #166142
07/19/2018 12:45 PM
07/19/2018 12:45 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,547
originally Long Island, NY/now...
irish1223 Offline
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irish1223  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,547
originally Long Island, NY/now...
Originally Posted by AUCspouse
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.



We can so concur with this. It felt great to get back to the island last month and we are very much looking forward to our return in November. While many things were destroyed, the elements we so love are still there -- sunshine, beaches, turquoise water, good food, and some of the friendliest people around.


Robin & Ed

[Linked Image]

Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: irish1223] #166144
07/19/2018 01:08 PM
07/19/2018 01:08 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 68,266
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 68,266
Central Florida!
Agreed, that was our thoughts too. It seems pretty universal, that anyone who has been recently has been just to happy to have been on island, and happy to see that what we love about the island is still there. She is tattered in a lot of places, still, but overall, still beautiful.


Carol Hill
Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: AUCspouse] #166154
07/19/2018 02:06 PM
07/19/2018 02:06 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,517
Portland, OR
jazzgal Offline
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jazzgal  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,517
Portland, OR
Thank you for the informative report. I think Baie Nettle hit me the hardest when I was there in June. No guard at the Nettle Bay Beach Club and many units without roofs. I've been told that Ma Ti Beach next door to Dreams owns the land and will be expanding to at least where Dreams was.


[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: AUCspouse] #166160
07/19/2018 03:19 PM
07/19/2018 03:19 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 325
SeaStar Offline
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SeaStar  Offline
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Posts: 325
Thanks for the report!
Are the 'Club O' chair people cleaning up the sargassum on the beach in front of the chairs they are renting?

Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: AUCspouse] #166170
07/19/2018 04:38 PM
07/19/2018 04:38 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 85
AUCspouse Offline OP
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AUCspouse  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 85
I heard from the chair rental guy that before the latest batch of sargassum, they paid for a tractor -- not a cheap step -- to clean the beach. Then the winds picked up, and the latest batch of sargassum came ashore. "That's nature," he said philosophically.

Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: AUCspouse] #166181
07/19/2018 07:05 PM
07/19/2018 07:05 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 325
SeaStar Offline
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SeaStar  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 325
Thanks for the update.
I guess we've been spoiled over the year as there were enough people visiting Orient beach to hire the staff to keep on top of the sargassum. In years pass it usually didn't travel much south of Pedro's while we were on the island.
Enjoy the rest of your trip.

Re: Trip report: Second edition [Re: SeaStar] #166186
07/19/2018 07:49 PM
07/19/2018 07:49 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 9,781
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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SXMScubaman  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 9,781
Auburn, WA
It's not just the lack of visitors it's the lack of businesses on the orient beach stretch.


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