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Quick trip report #254832
05/04/2021 03:13 PM
05/04/2021 03:13 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 37
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Lucky13 Online content OP
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Not much to report, because we didn't do much other than hang out on Orient Beach for 10 days.

Big props to Cedrick, who really has things running smoothly at Club O beach. The food at Perch Lite is great, staff is friendly, and the happy hour drinks are as good as ever. If you don't look backwards or down towards Papagayo, its almost like nothing has changed since pre-Irma. Huge thanks also to the Club O owners who have helped Cedrick keep things going. The new chairs and umbrellas really look good. They have to lock up all of the chairs every night, unfortunately. I guess they were starting to walk away at night.

The French authorities have put a rope barrier across the back of the beach. It runs right between Perch Lite and their picnic tables and all the way down the beach. We asked the waitress about it, and she just rolled her eyes. Not sure if it means anything though. Just marking their territory I suppose.

I think it has been posted here that they were forced to remove the swim platform, and that is the case. It's now sitting next to the shipping containers. Maybe one day it will go back in the water, but I doubt it. The water trampolines have also been removed from further down the beach, and the Pedro's rocks are all gone.

The other Orient Beach bars had a few customers, but really seem to be hurting without cruise ship passengers. Club O beach was by far the most crowded part of the beach.

Other than in front of Papagayo, there seems to be a lot of sand at Club O Beach. There isn't a steep cliff drop-off to the water like there used to be, and it seems like the water is shallower out to a much greater distance than it used to be. In most cases, I could walk out 50-100 yards and still be able to stand. Saw lots of fish, rays, a barracuda, and a sea turtle. Always good to see marine life in the bay.

As for other stuff, we ate in a lot, but did make it to 3 Amigos, Isola, Talk of the Town and the Pizza restaurant at Princess. Tried to go to Sale & Pepe one night, but it was closed. We hit our favorite Dutch side hang outs, Hole in the Wall in Maho and Red Piano for Church on Monday.

We checked in at Majesty Jewelers on Front Street and helped the economy a bit. Always good to see those folks. Front Street is in really bad shape though - lots of empty storefronts, lots of closed businesses. The stores that are open are dying for customers; the cruise ship industry can't get back soon enough for them. Apparently, cruises will start running out of Philipsburg as their home port in June, so maybe help is on the way. Our flight down was filled with cruise ship crew members coming in to get the ships ready to sail.

While in Philipsburg, we walked over to the marina and spotted the America's Cup 12 meter yachts in drydock. It looks like they really took a beating from Irma. One of the Stars & Stripes boats appears to be damaged pretty badly, possibly beyond repair. Hopefully they can be repaired and restored to operation, as they are beautiful boats with a lot of history. I did the 12 meter challenge a couple of times years ago, and miss seeing those boats in the water. It was kind of cool being able to see the keels up close, though.

We got our departure COVID tests at Bellevue Pharmacy in Marigot (just down from the traffic circle as you are heading out of Marigot towards the Dutch side). No appointment necessary.
The process was a little chaotic and it took longer than expected, but we got our official COVID-free certifications and were on our way back home.

It was good to get back to the island after a long 16 months away. We hope to be back soon ...

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Re: Quick trip report [Re: Lucky13] #254835
05/04/2021 03:36 PM
05/04/2021 03:36 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,939
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Thanks for the report. I didn't realize the 12 meter yachts were still out of the water. That's a shame.

I'm not sure what you mean about the rope on Orient. It goes from the Perch Lite all the way to the water or what??


Carol Hill
Re: Quick trip report [Re: Carol_Hill] #254837
05/04/2021 03:42 PM
05/04/2021 03:42 PM
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Lucky13 Online content OP
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Sorry I was unclear .. it runs behind the beach from Perch Lite all the way to Papagayo

Re: Quick trip report [Re: Lucky13] #254842
05/04/2021 05:27 PM
05/04/2021 05:27 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,939
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Oh, ok. I suspect, based on that, that the rope was put up by the owners of Club O, to keep people off the private property of Club O.


Carol Hill
Re: Quick trip report [Re: Carol_Hill] #254846
05/04/2021 06:17 PM
05/04/2021 06:17 PM
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Kennys Offline
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Yes I saw it .

Re: Quick trip report [Re: Lucky13] #254848
05/04/2021 06:33 PM
05/04/2021 06:33 PM
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Thanks for the nice report. What were the crowds(?) like on Orient Beach on both the textile beach and the Club O. section? Cruise ship visitors are important, so in time I'm sure the numbers will rebound sufficiently. Last time we visited was right before COVID and the numbers on the beach were definitely lower than in past visits. Cedric does do an admirable job at the Perch Bar & Grille, and I especially like those two-for-one priced happy hours! But ... the rocks are gone in front of Pedro's! Did I read that correctly? Those were historic boulders from my point of view, and who knows how long they had been there. Can't tell you the number of times I've seen and talked to wary visitors standing on top of some of those rocks who were unsure about setting foot on a clothing optional beach! And (to my credit), I was successful a few times convincing some folks that it was "perfectly okay to cross over the rocks and enjoy yourself without the burden of wearing a swimsuit."

Re: Quick trip report [Re: Carol_Hill] #254849
05/04/2021 06:47 PM
05/04/2021 06:47 PM
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Posts: 37
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Lucky13 Online content OP
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Originally Posted by Carol_Hill
Oh, ok. I suspect, based on that, that the rope was put up by the owners of Club O, to keep people off the private property of Club O.


No, the waitress at the Perch told us tot was put up by the Reserve Naturelle. Also, the posts holding up the rope had the logo of the Reserve on them (A six pointed blue flower that you can see here: http://www.reservenaturelle-saint-martin.com/)

Re: Quick trip report [Re: SammyM] #254851
05/04/2021 06:52 PM
05/04/2021 06:52 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 37
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Lucky13 Online content OP
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Sammy - yes, the famous Pedro’s rocks are gone! They always provided a nice dividing line between the nude and non-nude sections. Crowds on the non-nude side were sparse. The Club O side was much busier but nowhere near full. They only put up umbrellas on maybe 1/3 of the beach.

Re: Quick trip report [Re: Lucky13] #254853
05/04/2021 07:45 PM
05/04/2021 07:45 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,939
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Lucky--OK, that doesn't make sense, but what does, in this world?? smile


Carol Hill
Re: Quick trip report [Re: Lucky13] #254877
05/05/2021 09:03 AM
05/05/2021 09:03 AM
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vacanakey Offline
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Thanks for sharing your trip with us Lucky.

How much was the covid test at Marigot pharmacy? PCR or Antigen?

Re: Quick trip report [Re: vacanakey] #254878
05/05/2021 09:25 AM
05/05/2021 09:25 AM
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Lucky13 Online content OP
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The covid test was about $40 per person. It was an antigen test, so results were very quick once we were finally tested. When you are done, you are given a printed report that can be taken to the airport. I recommend getting to the pharmacy early, as there was a line for testing.

The procedure at the Bellevue pharmacy goes like this:

On arrival, you fill out a form with your contact information. Then you pay for the test at the right-hand side register in the back and give them the form along with your passport. They give you another form with with your name and DOB and a number on it. Make sure your name and DOB are correct. You take the form around back behind the pharmacy to a courtyard where they have a tent set up to perform the swab. When they call your number, you go into the tent, give them the form and get swabbed. The results come out in batches, and it takes about 15-20 minutes for them to come back. The tester signs the form and gives it back to you, and you then take the form back to the pharmacy to be stamped and get your passport back. You must give the stamped form with correct name/DOB to the airline at check-in.

It's a bit of a clumsy procedure and it took a lot longer than we expected (about 1.5 hours), but it all worked OK in the end.

Re: Quick trip report [Re: Lucky13] #254912
05/05/2021 03:23 PM
05/05/2021 03:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 310
vacanakey Offline
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Very helpful information....much appreciated!

Re: Quick trip report [Re: Lucky13] #254967
05/06/2021 11:21 AM
05/06/2021 11:21 AM
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Posts: 9
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The rope line on Orient Beach was put up by the Coastal Conservatory (Conservatoire du littoral), which has responsibility for the beach. The symbol for the Coastal Conservancy is similar to the symbol for the Nature Reserve and could easily be confused.

Conservatoire du littoral: http://www.conservatoire-du-littoral.fr/
Nature Reserve: https://reservenaturelle-saint-martin.com/en

Re: Quick trip report [Re: Lucky13] #254971
05/06/2021 11:56 AM
05/06/2021 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Lucky13
Not much to report, because we didn't do much other than hang out on Orient Beach for 10 days.

Big props to Cedrick, who really has things running smoothly at Club O beach. The food at Perch Lite is great, staff is friendly, and the happy hour drinks are as good as ever.



Great trip report, thanks! I just want to offer a correction (again!).

Randy is entirely responsible for the Perch Bar and Grill. The tasty food, cold beverages, and happy hour drinks are all thanks to Randy and his staff. Randy formerly ran Papagayo.

Cedrick is responsible for the beach and for chair rentals. He is quite involved in island politics and held a role on council representing Sandy Ground at one point. You'll see him front and centre of any actions to support his people and stand up for their rights and he is often in the news. He was one of the people whose actions helped to bring the La Croix delegation to the island and to have the PPRN reworked so that rebuilding in low-lying areas such as Sandy Ground (and Club Orient) can happen.


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