Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The winds were howling around the island at 30 knots today, so it was time to do shopping and a tour of the circumference of the island with Lauren & Rob. We started by passing the airport, then driving by the new development projects at Cupecoy and threading our way past the hidden villas on the NW side of the lagoon to end up in Marigot, where we successfully found a parking slot and had breakfast at La Sucrière before continuing on our journey. We bypassed Grand Case and visited the NE coves and shore. Continuing on our trip we looked at the difficult cut getting into Oyster Pond and decided that no boats were going to go in or out, since any skipper experienced and skilled enough to transit the channel would know better than to even try to leave the safety of the harbour.
We did some shopping at the typical “yachtie” haunts - Ace Hardware, NAPA and then had a late lunch before hitting Island Waterworld, our final shopping stop. We managed to get past the Dutch bridge at 16:25, just prior to the bridge opening and then changed our plans and wanted to see the Air France Airbus land or take off from the infamous bar at the end of the runway to Princess Julianna Airport. Unfortunately, the jet was already there (I'd mis-remembered the arrival time) but we had some fun at the beach while waiting for the 17:30 departure. Rob was using a small digital camera which had some sort of random delay built in, so each time he set up for an artisitic shot framing trees, beach and an approaching aircraft he got a wonderful picture sans jet.
Rain clouds rolled over the hills shortly before 18:00 so we headed for our boats and were at the dock just as showers hit, so we stayed there a while and heard, but didn't see, the airbus take off over us. Perhaps some other day we'll get a shot of that takeoff.

Schooner rolling in St. Martin This very large schooner was rocking and rolling in the heavy swell behind Tintamarre off St. Martin.
[18°7'0.23"N 63°1'15.02"W (facing E)]
Schooner rolling in St. Martin
Approaching the nest This small bird proved an elusive photographic target due to its great speed but at least one picture turned out (from the many that I shot).
Approaching the nest
Anse Marcel from above Anse Marcel from above
[18°6'39"N 63°2'5.91"W (facing NW)]
Anse Marcel from above
Century plants Century plants
Century plants
Ile Tintamarre off St. Martin Ile Tintamarre off St. Martin
Ile Tintamarre off St. Martin
St. Martin surf Heavy surf on the west side of St. Martin
[18°4'0.73"N 63°0'51.67"W (facing E)]
St. Martin surf
Lauren and Rob on St. Martin This was taken on the north shore of the island; we'd rented a car and decided to take a day playing tourist.
[18°4'0.16"N 63°0'51.69"W (facing NW)]
Lauren and Rob on St. Martin
Philipsburg bay Philipsburg bay
[18°1'22.23"N 63°3'28.37"W (facing E)]
Philipsburg bay
Philipsburg Cruiseships Philipsburg Cruiseships
[18°1'22.31"N 63°3'28.48"W (facing E)]
Philipsburg Cruiseships
St. Martin airport sign This sign isn't just there for show. The beginning of the takeoff run for big jets is just a couple of yards from this sign and the blast is strong enough to attract thrill-seeker from around the globe.
[18°2'23.36"N 63°7'13.61"W ]
St. Martin airport sign
Sunset Beach on St. Martin Sunset Beach on St. Martin
[18°2'23.62"N 63°7'14.42"W (facing W)]
Sunset Beach on St. Martin
Sanblast at Sunset Beach A mid-sized jet taking off at the St. Martin airport generated this small sandstorm. Just imagine what the blast from a big jet such as a 747 or the A380 will be like.
[18°2'23.58"N 63°7'14.25"W (facing S)]
Sanblast at Sunset Beach
Snapshot taker Rob really had no luck with camera on this day, each time he wanted to get a picture of a landing plane the camera would delay a bit and none of his pictures turned out.
[18°2'23.49"N 63°7'14.19"W (facing S)]
Snapshot taker
Jet landing in St. Martin A commuter jet about to touch down at Princess Juliana Airpot on St. Martin in the Caribbean. The threshold is very close to us and they are (in 2011) extending the runway so that the threshold can be moved further from spectators.
[18°2'23.48"N 63°7'14.33"W (facing S)]
Jet landing in St. Martin
Turboprop approaching St. Martin Turboprop approaching St. Martin
[18°2'23.46"N 63°7'14.22"W (facing W)]
Turboprop approaching St. Martin
Sunset Beach sunset Sunset Beach sunset
[18°2'23.47"N 63°7'14.07"W (facing W)]
Sunset Beach sunset

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