Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sint Maarten and a Reunion with Opa and Omi

Sint Maarten/ St. Martin that is the smallest sea island divided between two nations, France and the Netherlands Antilles. Some say that the borders were defined in 1648, when a Frenchman and a Dutchman set out from opposite ends of the island, the Frenchman with a bottle of wine and the Dutchman with a bottle of gin and they agreed to place the border where they met in the middle. The Frenchman made it much further than the Dutchman with his gin so the island is geographically 1/3 Dutch and 2/3 French.

Rodney Bay lagoon, on the Dutch side of the island, is an enormous body of water with the biggest group of the largest super yachts that we had ever seen. Row upon row of boats of over 200 feet, mostly motor boats (at least one with a 37 foot tender with a bow thruster) but with a few spectacular sailboats in between. The whole area is overrun with an unnatural opulence that is a little stifling but it is a real boaters community and is therefore a good place to stop to meet interesting people and get any necessary work done on the boat.

Opa and Omi arrived on a morning flight from Curacao and we took a taxi out to meet them at the airport. After 10 months, it was great to see them again and they marveled at the changes to the monkeys (particularly Macsen who has become a real person during that time). They had rented an apartment and a car for the week so we headed in for a little luxury. The apartment had enormous balconies, fantastic views of the ocean, two hot tubs, a pool and most importantly unlimited running water and air conditioning so we settled in quickly. The next couple of days were spent enjoying the sun, eating good food and having a good time together.

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