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A Yachties Day Off; St Martin
by Gemma Harris
It’s that time of year again where the Caribbean wakes back up and the season is back in full swing. Yachts are crossing back over from the Med, charter brokers are busy with bookings, marinas are getting full, the detailing and chamoising is on overdrive and more importantly, days off need to be organized.
A day off in St Martin; Post Hurricane Irma
Depending on your itinerary and charter schedule, you will hopefully have chance to explore the half Dutch and half French island of St Martin. This 37 square mile island has gracefully pulled through the turmoil of their Hurricane Irma recovery with a big smile on their faces. The continuing rebuild process has been helped by work from the non-profit SXM strong, with a lot of businesses back up and running, it is important that we can help this small island retain that booming tourism industry they are capable of.
Sightseeing – Rum Tasting – Diving
Spend your morning exploring Philipsburg, since Irma, the capital is back to business as usual with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants back open here, be sure to avoid the cruise ship crowds. If its 12 o’clock (somewhere) then also check out the Guavaberry Emporium here for some famous Guaveberry rum tasting. If shopping isn’t your scene, then spend the morning underwater, scuba diving with Helmie and Henry, at Dive Safaris in Simpson Bay. The island’s warm waters accommodates all dive abilities.
Adventures & Beach Bars
For a dose of adventure in the afternoon, just outside Philipsburg is Rainforest Adventures which opened just a mere 2 months after Irma. The eco park boasts the worlds steepest zipline, the ‘Flying Dutchman’ and a ‘Sky Explorer’ chairlift both with amazing views. On the French side, Loterie farm offers hiking routes and a perfect lounging spot, they were badly damaged by Irma but their restoration project is underway, turning this historic sugar planation into the best pool party spot it once was. Or if you want a lazy afternoon without going too far then head to Karakter beach bar, in Simpson Bay, chill out in this old converted school bus, enjoy tasty food and drink, take a dip and watch the planes coming in to the airport strip behind.
Amazing Plane Landings at Maho Beach Sunset Beach Bar
Before your evening starts, you can’t be in St Martin without witnessing one of the last international flights landing at Maho Beach, the Sunset beach bar here offers a price sundowner spot whilst waiting. Be sure to keep a safe distance, you will be able to get that impressive gram shot without having to risk any body parts!
Nights out in St Martin
When it comes to the evening, it is easy to be entertained here, the island has always been one of the top party spots. If you are here for the season, in March the famous SXM festival is being held on the island again. If you miss this there are always the popular yachtie hangouts not to miss, Soggy Dollar in Simpson Bay being one of them. If it’s a fancy dinner you are after on your day off then take a trip to Grand Case, being on the French side you can trust that your tastebuds will be in for a treat. In particular, Bistrot Caraibes is the number one spot for some of the best lobster on the island, to be washed down with their homemade ginger rum.
Post Irma St Martin
Irma may have temporarily damaged St Martin but its positive vibes, welcoming locals and idyllic island atmosphere is still going strong. A perfect island for some downtime, adventure or simple beach relaxation.