Our last port call of the cruise was Sint
(saint) Maarten. Another island with generally same post
Columbus history. Fought over by most of
the Northern European countries it ended up as a Dutch colony Today it is an independent country that is a
constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Dutch occupies the southern part of the island and
the northern section is associated with the French. Sint Maarten is very popular with tourists
from the Netherlands.
In this port, we decided to enjoy a coastal sail on
a tall ship converted from a Dutch fishing trawler. Anneke was particularly looking forward to
this trip because the ship's captain and some of the crew were Dutch. For many
years sailing was our main hobby and it was great to be on this very nice
sailing ship for part of our day.
The "Mercedes" spends the winters in the
Caribbean and the summers in Northern Europe doing charters. The conversion to a modified tall ship was
very well done and it was a pleasure to be onboard.
We sailed along the coast and enjoyed the views of
shore. One of the attractions here is
the airport with sits at the edge of the sea and the large planes arriving from
around the world have to come in very low over the ocean. One of the big attractions is watching planes landing
just over the beach. They sometimes get so close that they are blown back
across the beach and sometimes into the ocean by the jet blast. As we sailed close to the beach, there were
no large planes landing. I do not see
the fun in it, but here you can see what it looks like.
We also sailed close by the current largest yacht in
the world with the former largest yacht nearby.
We had a great time onboard talking with the Capt
and crew and just being under sail again.
Before heading back to the ship, we did a quick walk
thru the village and even picked up a
couple of souvenirs.