St. Thomas was definitely a good time, a little crowded, but none-the-less a good time. I really can’t complain anyways, right, since I’m surrounded by mountains and a clear blue ocean on an 85 degree day. Life is good. After enjoying the beauty of St. Thomas, a dinner with Carl Daikeler and Jon Congdon, and a night full of dancing and gambling, it was time to throw in the towel and get ready for St. Maarten the next day.
Since we weren’t able to book an excursion off the boat, we decided to be a little more proactive and book one while on the boat. After reading up on everything that St. Maarten had to offer, we settled on a 4 hour snorkel adventure at a great reef. The only issue was that we had to be outside the boat by 7:15 AM, and when you’re out until 3 or 4 AM the night before, that doesn’t sound too exciting. However, as tired as we were, we were actually very excited because this is something we have been wanting to do on the entire trip, but haven’t been able to until that point. We got in late, woke up early and ate breakfast (we ordered room service), got ready, and just as we were about the head out the door the phone rings. It was Lindsay, telling us that the excursion got canceled because of a malfunction in the ship. Really? Ugh. We woke up that early for nothing. We decided to just hang out and relax for a while until we decided what else we could do. Unfortunately, all the other excursions were booked, so we were stuck in a similar situation like we were in St. Thomas. At about 9:30 AM, mom, dad, Melinda, Joey and I decided to head off the boat and find something to do.
We got off the boat and headed towards an information center. Once there, we asked the woman running the little booth if there were any other snorkel excursions that we could join, but unfortunately, there weren’t. However, while standing there, we ironically were overheard talking by the captain of the ship that malfunctioned. He apologized for the inconvenience, but told us of a great little spot that nobody goes to, one that has some snorkeling and a place for us to enjoy some peace and quite. That place was called Little Bay. We headed to the taxi area, jumped in one and headed to our destination.
Before I even get to our experience at Little Bay, I first have to talk about our experience in the taxi. Wow. The driver was crazy. Hilarious, but crazy. I was in the far back so had a hard time hearing (I’m part deaf in one ear anyways), but mom, dad, and Joey were just cracking up at this guy, and I wanted to know why. I leaned forward and listened with my good ear, and this dude was going on a rant about why marijuana should be legal in California, how he grows his own weed, and was talking about the 2 different parts of St. Maarten, one run by the Netherlands and the other run by the French. Of course he was talking about how great it was to be on the Netherlands side because marijuana happened to be legal. He then started talking about how he was already high (made us feel awesome knowing HE was the one driving) and even brought out a blunt to show us. Yes, that picture to the right is of him with the blunt in his mouth. The journey to Little Bay was interesting, but we got there safe, which I guess is all that counts.
Little Bay was amazing. I have been to some beautiful places before, such as Seven Mile Beach at Grand Cayman, and never thought that anything could match that, but I have to admit that Little Bay lived up to the hype. The driver dropped us off at this little secluded resort, we headed towards the beach, and couldn’t believe the view when we got there. It was like something taken straight off a postcard! Mountains surrounded this little bay (hence the name), and there were huge rock formations leading to a clear blue water on one side, and in front of the resort was a white, soft, clean sandy beach, that just so happened to be pretty empty. It was strange to see so few people because there were something like 5 cruise ships on the island, and everyone seems to flock to the best beaches. We definitely got lucky, and were so glad that we could finally relax and enjoy a nice, quiet beach.
The first thing that we wanted to do when we got there was snorkel, so dad, Joey, and I all went to the little stand, purchased some snorkel gear, and started our snorkel adventure. The water was a little foggy and cold, maybe because it was still early, but the further out we got, the clearer the water became. We came across some pretty interesting fish, a few spiny black sea anemones, and some great rock formations, but the snorkeling didn’t compare to what we experienced while in the Cayman Islands. There really wasn’t a true reef in Little Bay, but that’s OK because it was nice just to snorkel. After about an hour and a half, we worked our way back to the beach, and decided it was time to relax and have a few drinks.
When we got back to our chairs that the women reserved, they were already oiled up and soaking up the hot Caribbean sun. We decided to join them, but first needed to have a few drinks. What’s vacation without a few drinks on the beach, right? Joey and I made our way to this Beach bar called Gizmo’s Bar, and unfortunately they didn’t open until 11:00 AM (yeah, we were starting early), but out of the corner of our eye we see this parrot sitting on a chair. At first I didn’t think it was real, but as we got closer it started to move. The woman standing at the counter said that it’s name was Gizmo, which is what the bar is named after. The woman tried to get it to say “hello,” but it was reluctant, but then she tried to get it to say “cracker,” which it was more than happy to say, and it yelled it out!
We went back to the bar when it opened and ordered 5 Miami Vices and took them back to the chairs. This drink was one of the best that I’ve had, and the view that surrounded us just topped it off. This was what we have worked so hard for over the past 2 and a half years! After soaking in the moment, Joey and I decided to go grab a few more drinks and walk around the Bay.
As we were wondering around, we came across this huge rock formation that we thought would make a great backdrop for an absolutely amazing picture, and we were right. We forgot to bring our cameras with us, so we headed back to the chairs to grab the cameras and the rest of the crew, and then went back. We were a little daring, climbing up and down the rocks, but we didn’t care because it was fun and knew we would get some amazing photos and memories out of it. After taking some pictures, we decided that it was time to start heading back to the ship, so we went to the hotel entrance, passed some extraordinary loud parrots, hopped in the taxi, made a pit stop in the local town to shop for some clothes and cigars, and then made our way back to the Oasis.