The Smarter, Younger Crane Sister

View from Fort Louis

View from Fort Louis. Marigot Bay then beyond that Simpson Bay Lagoon and the Dutch side.

French restaurant

Restaurant on French side. Restaurants here are usually complete with chickens, small birds on the tables, cats, lizards. Food was spicy!

Amazing Cure

The owner of the restaurant saw Cam’s sunburned face and brought her an amazing 10 minute cure, which turned out to be aloe. We laughed as Cam put the goo on her face.

Ad in tourist map

You can’t beat the ads in the tourist maps.


Crazy crew on the Round the Island Tour. Lots of fun.

Lunch with the other sheep in Grand Case. We didn't even think to walk around and see if we really wanted to eat here. They told us to sit and we sat.

Lunch with the other sheep in Grand Case. We didn’t even think to walk around and see if we really wanted to eat here. They told us to sit and we sat.

St Martin/Sint Maarten buses. Cheap, efficient, slightly scary ride.

St Martin/Sint Maarten buses. Cheap, efficient, slightly scary ride.

Which one is younger? Which one is smarter?

Which one is younger? Which one is smarter?

Lunch in Grand Case. This time a restaurant of our choosing. It was delicious.

Lunch in Grand Case. This time a restaurant of our choosing. It was delicious.

Morning in Simpson Bay Lagoon

Morning in Simpson Bay Lagoon

One day you’re just sitting on the boat in BVI and you get a message from your sister saying she’d really like to visit. Where are you now? Where will you be next week? Next month? And then within just a day or two of the conversation starting, she decides she’s doing it. Not next month, but in a few days. So we decide St. Martin/Sint Maarten is the place. Mostly because she’s on standby flights and getting into St. Thomas looks to be more difficult for her. After a night sail from Virgin Gorda, BVI, Barefoot Life arrives in St. Martin at about 7:30 a.m. not knowing if she’s made all of her standby connections or not. Her arrival time is noon. We still have to get through the bridge (first bridge opening is at 9:30), go through customs and immigration and get some provisions for her visit. At 9 a.m. I can’t stand it anymore and I call her husband, Paul. Yes, she got on a flight! I am literally the happiest person on this island, maybe in the Caribbean.  We’ve all been up all night travelling (you don’t really sleep well on night sails nor at the Newark airport), but there’s a lot of adrenaline and energy so Cam and I take the bus back to the yacht club dinghy dock where Stan is waiting, get her settled on the boat and get started on her very short visit. I know she was out of it when she arrived because at the end of the visit she kept asking if we ever go to the yacht club where we park the dinghy on the Dutch side. It was a “who’s on first” conversation with us telling her that’s where Stan met us after her flight and her repeating the question as if we haven’t understood. I am hoping her memories of the rest of the vacation are more concrete.

We chose to stay inside, meaning Simpson Bay Lagoon, because there would be no roll. We decided this would be better than having her experience any sea sickness. The downside is that you don’t swim in the lagoon. It’s not dirty water, but it’s more like very organic lake water with high grasses. So we would take the dinghy through the bridge to the outside (Simpson Bay) to go swim, snorkel, SUP. While St. Martin/Sint Maarten has some beautiful beaches, the snorkeling isn’t great. We snorkeled a few times and saw some fish, turtles and rays, but it’s not like snorkeling USVI or BVI. So generally we just swam and hung out in the beautiful, salty water.

We took a day trip through Aqua Mania (Roy and Romeo on Santino’s). It was a great day with crazy New Yorkers and a few French Canadians. The New Yorkers know how to have a good time and aren’t timid. I don’t think they actually needed the free drinks poured by our host, Romeo, to turn the snorkel tour into the rum tour. It was called “Round the Island Tour”. Well worth the money, with or without entertainment provided by New Yorkers.

We spent a lot of time dinghying over to the French side for baguettes and French treats. Hiked to Fort Louis (not a tough hike, but great views of St Barths), took the public bus to Grand Case and spent one evening on the Dutch side where we had ribs and chicken at a little roadside shack. Two people asked if we’re sisters. Yes, of course, we would say. They would point to me and say “you’re the older one.” Geez. I think I need to start wearing more sunscreen.

All good, not enough time, though. It happened so fast and was over too soon. I would love to have taken her to St Barths if the weather had been right. Although, when it’s your sister that you love as much as I do, it doesn’t matter where you are. Come back again soon, Cam.


One thought on “The Smarter, Younger Crane Sister

  1. I had so much fun. Totally worth a night each in the Newark and Chicago airports. Totally worth my shoulders that are peeling off right now! (the shoulders make me doubt the miracle of the French waitress’ cure though).
    It was so fun to see you and Stan. I do have concrete memories too…like the jogging woman on the beach, the crazy New Yorkers on Santino, the nice bus driver who waited for us at the beach, that blue blue blue water, the cats and chickens in restaurants, the fact that NOBODY there pours weak drinks, the fact that i have the best sister ever who is bossy about me wearing sunscreen and not doing dishes and remembering that i don’t have the right of way in crosswalks etc, just because she loves me so much and she has always been my big sister so she will always be looking out for me.

    Thanks for a beautiful week!!!!

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