It started out a bit gray, choppy and dreary…. It ended with Caribbean water, good times and a beautiful island sunset. So, it appears we gave away the ending. Read on, though, for more details and photos of a must do adventure with Billy Bones Boat Charters.
A little back story – When we booked our charter we were offered a couple of days to choose from, each with its own weather forecast. Unfortunately we could not book on the same day which is the day that offered the best chance of calm waters and warm sun; so we booked for 2 days out. This day was scheduled to be a bit windier but didn’t necessarily forecast rain. Since we’re giving you this back story, I’m sure you can jump to the logical conclusion…it was raining, and it rained hard!
We considered canceling entirely as we still had to drive half way around the island and weren’t guaranteed good weather once we arrived. Since life is now; we were only visiting for a week, and we had other plans; we mounted up and made our way to the other side of the island in search of a St Martin Miracle.
The trip was on! There was no going back. The weather wasn’t bad enough to cancel and they too, were hoping for a St. Martin Miracle.
We were introduced to the dynamic duo of Al & AJ appropriately called the “A-team”.
The A-team, despite the overcast and rainy skies, were upbeat and engaging as we wound our way from the harbor in Simpson Bay on our way to Creole Rock for some snorkeling. We slithered around untouched, half-sunken boat wrecks (from the hurricanes) while the sun would peak through every now and again.
Then the rain reared its head one more time and the wind kicked up as we made our way out of the harbor into open ocean on the west side of the island.
The seas were running high and choppy but Al was skillful while behind the wheel and took the waves with experience making the ride as pleasant as possible. Despite Al’s skillful driving a member of the LiFE is NOW…team provided the boat with ongoing entertainment while holding on for dear life for fear of bouncing out of the boat. When not holding on, we were able to take in the beautiful coastal scenery.
We arrived at Creole Rock and the air and water were surprisingly warm even with the overcast skies and rain. The snorkeling was uneventful partially due to the choppy water and overcast skies but still plenty enjoyable. We packed up and headed further around the west coast to Tintamarre.
We turned the corner. We say this because we both literally and figuratively turned the corner. Things changed! Swells were bigger and we were heading directly into the teeth of the wind (no photos here folks). We had a decision to make. Head to Tintamarre or forego this stop and head directly for Pinel Island. All heads turned to our team member holding on to the bimini framing! Do we head for Tintamarre or change course and visit Pinel? Life is now, right? We weren’t going to be the anchor on this boat. It was off to Tintamarre (for hopefully some sea turtle sightings). As we made our way to anchor along the beach, it happened! The St. Martin Miracle. The winds died, the sea calmed, skies cleared and sun came out; brutally hot and awesome! We relaxed while walking and exploring the beach and catching gorgeous views of St. Martin from afar. The rum punch was flowing and certainly helped in creating a relaxing Caribbean atmosphere. From here it was short, straight shot to Pinel Island for some swimming, conversing and shopping. Again, gorgeous beach, crystal clear water and views of Orient Beach in the distant. Both, definitely a not-miss.
Now that the sun was shining, the seas calming, our next stop was
back the same way we came but now down wind, and of course…more rum punch. It was Grand Case for lunch at the Rainbow Cafe on the beach. The photo merely scratches the surface as to what it felt and looked like being there. Grand Case is a definite stop on your itinerary! Food, drink, atmosphere and gorgeous sunsets.
With calm seas, lunch in the books (o.k. a bit more rum punch) it was time to make our way home. But before that we made a couple of stops to enjoy the weather, take a swim and get a sea going version of the Maho Beach experience. First stop, though, was Mullet Bay for some swimming and snorkeling. Absolutely stunning beach! Al & AJ informed us we might get lucky and catch a plane landing at the airport. For those of you unfamiliar with the Maho Beach experience, go on the web and search videos. Simply amazing. We were lucky enough to be able to experience this on both land (at Sunset Beach SXM) and sea. Al positioned the boat right in the path of the plane as we watched the aircraft make its way to the airport. Pretty Cool.
We then had to drop off some cruise ship friends and made our way into Philipsburg harbor. We can say it is beautiful from the beach but absolutely breathtaking from water!! It was then back to Simpson Bay and home to Orient Beach with a St. Martin Miracle under our belt and beautiful sunset views all the way.
Inside Tip: when you arrive for your Billy Bones charter, go grab a coffee and french bread for the ride at La Sucriere. You’ll make someone happy.