Sint Maarten: Simpson Bay

So far, aside from Captain’s guest post, we’ve mostly posted about work and injuries. But we also had some fun while we were in Sint Maarten. We spent most of the time anchored in the lagoon, in 8 feet of water, about 300 yards from the Blue Pearl marina where we’d initially docked. Aside from the foul water, it’s not a bad anchorage. The holding is good, the neighboring wrecks and derelict boats provide some color, the access to services is excellent, and the water is flat no matter what the wind is doing.

Well. The water is flat, except for the couple of times per day that these tour groups pass by. But they’re generally pretty polite about limiting the wakes, and it was nice to see so many people excited about their first kind-of-a-dinghy ride.

We spent a lot of time at Lagoonies, the preferred south-lagoon hangout. We loved not having to ask not to get straws and things. Actually with Jazz down for the count, it was often just me and Captain, and Lagoonies was great about filling our reusable containers with takeout. But we did manage to get her off of the boat once or twice.

On the south-west side of the bay, nearest to the supermarket that sold what we began to affectionately call The Salad, the dinghy dock tended to be full of big superyacht tenders, and Dinkus got a bit lost in the mix.

We did a little bit of walking, mostly to the physical therapists’ office and back, and we saw some amusing things along the way. Like The Traffic Man, and some nice-car-ruined-lot contrast. And our first propane-powered forklift.

There’s a bus system that runs along the main roads of the island, and we took it to see Phillipsburg. The guidebook had described it as a smaller Charlotte Amalie, full of duty-free cigar and liquor shops and catering to the cruise ship crowd. We found that assessment pretty on the nose, and didn’t bother to spend much more time there. We arrived on a relatively low-cruise-ship day, and had a pretty lackluster lunch at a restaurant that turned out not to be the one we’d been shooting for. The lunch entertainment was watching the staff scare away the few remaining tourists with overly aggressive sales pitches and by having loud conversations as they walled off the entrance. We were amused, though, by the free public USB chargers at the bus stop, though, and we enjoyed the view of the harbor from the road.

More often, though, we stayed close to the bay, like at the local French bakery with its own dinghy dock and occasional uninvited pets.

Sometimes while Jazz was getting dry-needled, I’d go for a run through the local semi-private park.

Eventually we had stayed so much longer than our plan, that Kraken caught back up to us, and we celebrated by visiting Topper’s rum distillery. It’s more of an infusery, really, but they give a great tour, and let you taste an overwhelming number of flavors. It’s the first place I’ve ever seen rum on draft.

And we visited the Dinghy Dock restaurant, which has the best selection of draft beers on the island. Because of course we did. We were even rewarded with a visit from the local cat, who I think might have been a bit ambivalent about us.

Perhaps the culinary highlight of the Dutch side of the island, we went to Bavaria. I’d picked up the Sunday Stroganoff special for Jazz once before, and she was determined to come back and crushed when we’d shown up and realized it was sausage day instead. So we had to stop by a third time, and I won’t post the video of Jazz licking the plate, but I promise it was very dignified.

We also went to the movies at some point, which involved tying up where all the tourist boats live, so of course we got a selfie with them.

Eventually it was time to leave, and since we’d heard that this was our last chance for good supermarkets for a while, we hit them all.

3 comments

  1. Loving the stories from your adventures, Andrew! Thanks for messaging me about this before you left Google! Thanks in part to you and Jazz, I’ve totally been bitten by the “go cruising” bug, but we’ll have to do it in a few years (and before the kids are off to college!) For now I’m making plans and getting inspired by you and all the YouTubers. Keep posting!

    1. Thanks, I’m glad you’re enjoying it. Please keep me posted on your plans, I’ll be curious to hear what you end up doing!

  2. Please continue this litany of your life “out there”, I am so hungry for it! Thanks Andrew for showing us your daily life in photos with commentary, it soothes my soul while at the same time makes me “home sick” for your company. Love you two!

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