Floating Tiki Hut in Sint Maarten with the Colorado Traveling Ducks

Today we swim, snorkel, and shop in Sint Maarten.    First we take a water taxi to Philipsburg, the capital of St. Maarten.

To the Water taxi

To the Water taxi

After transferring to another boat, we all arrive at the floating Tiki Hut.

Floating Tiki Hut

Floating Tiki Hut

Isn’t this beautiful?   That pool has water from the Caribbean and we saw tropical fish there, eating bread.   Bucket’s dad is already in the water.

Bucket's Dad

Bucket’s Dad

It looks fun, but again, no snorkeling mask in our size.   Some humans are enjoying stand up paddle boarding.

Stand up Paddle Boarding

Stand up Paddle Boarding

Oh this exciting.   We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks, are swimming with Bucket’s parents.

We are swimming in the Caribbean Sea

We are swimming in the Caribbean Sea

They are having a little problem keeping us together.   This is so much fun.   We are bouncing along on top of the waves.   Back on the Tiki Hut, we ducks needed to rest and lounge in the sun.

Ducks resting

Ducks resting

Swimming can be tiring, but it sure was fun!  Look what we saw.

Fish

Fish

We could see the fish under water.   We looked through Bucket’s parents snorkel mask!   Bucket’s parents are on the floating platform, waiting for another snack.

Bucket's parents

Bucket’s parents

We already ate lunch here, but they are hungry again.  Taking ducks swimming causes hunger.   It is time to leave the floating Tiki Hut, so we take the first boat back to Philipsburg.   Then another water taxi to the ship.   This is our cruise passenger shopping area.

Shopping area

Shopping area

Beautiful tropical flowers also.   These steps are very inviting.

Let's wander

Let’s wander

Let’s explore.   We like these crafts that are for sale.

Crafts for sale

Crafts for sale

Following our moms on a shopping trip is exhausting.   So, snacks and beverages anyone?

Snacks anyone?

Snacks anyone?

Have a seat humans.   There is just a little time before we board the ship, so hurry.

Advertisements

Phillipsburg, Sint Maarten

Alaska cousin and Zeb the Duck head for the PeliDeli with our humans.

We love the Peli Deli

We love the Peli Deli

We climb on the bus toward Phillipsburg, St. Maarten.  This bus is provided by Ama Jewelers.  Ama has several stores in St. Maarten.  The have really cute pendant necklaces with jeweled flip-flop sandals.  That is so like the beach!  Ama jewelers also specialize in colored diamonds.  I think all human females love colored diamonds.

We stop for breakfast at an outside café.

Breakfast being cooked

Breakfast being cooked

With full stomachs, the humans wander through many shops.  The streets are lined with stores, and this clock caught the duck eyes.

Shopping street

Shopping street.  Need to reset clock

Phillipsburg, St. Maarten is one of the busiest shopping areas in the Caribbean.  In additional to traditional stores, we enjoyed this market.

We love these markets

We love these markets

Many cruise ships stop here, for shopping, for beautiful beaches and of course, the many great spots for lunch.

We don’t want you to think that shopping is all there is.  We saw this church, St, Maarten of Tours Roman Catholic Church

St. Maarten of Tours Roman Catholic Church

St. Maarten of Tours Roman Catholic Church

and other historical and government buildings.  The street near the beach has so many human opportunities.  Segways are for rent, as are many beach accessories.

Beach is on a shopping street

Beach is on a shopping street

We saw shoppers, swimmers, boaters and people lounging on the beach and many humans in the cafes.

This Pirate Sports Bar was interesting and had great figures to cause humans to notice the establishment.

Great for Pirate Sports Bar

Great for Pirate Sports Bar

At this café, we could see the gentleman grilling this chicken.

Watching our food cooking

Watching our food cooking

It smelled wonderful.  We did have another snack here.  Very tasty!

St. Maarten has guavaberries.  This store specializes in guavaberry products.  This sign promotes guavaberry liqeur.

Famous in St. Maarten

Famous in St. Maarten

This is best enjoyed on St. Maarten as it is difficult to transport liquids on the airplane.   Tomorrow we leave St. Maarten and fly to St. Thomas so we did not purchase additional liquids today.

Phillipsburg is a busy port with great shopping.  We ducks loved it, but were ready to get back to our beach and pool.  The humans got a taxi and we headed back to our resort.

Feet on the sand

Feet on the sand

We loved the shopping and activities of Phillipsburg and we think you would enjoy some time here also.  Maybe some blue or canary diamonds??

Saba by Boat for a Day

I, Zeb the Duck and my Alaska cousin are getting on a boat again!

Edge II  Our boat to Saba

Edge II Our boat to Saba

We love boats.  Today we are leaving St. Maarten to spend the day on the island of Saba.  Saba is a Dutch island also, but we needed to show our passports.

Riding to Saba

Riding to Saba

Loving the boat ride for 90 minutes and now we see Saba.   It looks different.  A giant rock rising from the ocean.

Saba from the boat

Saba from the boat

No sandy beaches in sight.  Maybe that is why we did not bring swimming suits and towels.  This sign makes ducks and humans feel welcome.

We are docking at Saba

We are docking at Saba

First stop is immigration and passport control.  Now, ready for a new adventure.

The road is a miracle.  It was built by hand; no heavy machinery available.  Local men started building the road in 1938 an it was finished in 1958.  Previously crossing the island involved a 7.5-mile staircase.  Everywhere is steep up or steep down.

Saba is a rocky island!

Saba is a rocky island!

WOW!

Our first stop after leaving Fort Bay is The Bottom.  The Bottom is the capital and largest city.  This Sacred Heart Church, 1935, is beautiful inside and outside.

Inside Sacred Heart Church in Saba

Inside Sacred Heart Church in Saba

Sacred Heart Church, The Bottom in Saba

Sacred Heart Church, The Bottom in Saba

We shopped here also.

Craft store in The Bottom in Saba

Craft store in The Bottom in Saba

Nice craft items available.

In Windwardside we shopped a little, visited Holy Trinity Church (Anglican Episcopal 1878) and cemetery.

Church with cemetery

Church with cemetery

We liked this sign.

Liked the sign

Liked the sign

While shopping we found a relative.

Shopping in Windwardside in Saba

Shopping in Windwardside in Saba

Little Saba Surfer Duck is now part of our family.  Here we are posing by bananas.

Alaska cousin, Zeb and Saba Surfer Ducks

Alaska cousin, Zeb and Saba Surfer Ducks

These streets are narrow and very steep.  Our humans had a real workout just walking through town.  Lunch at the Tropics Café was great.

Lunch time at Tropic Cafe

Lunch time at Tropics Cafe

This swimming pool was available for our use,

Chairs in the pool!!

Chairs in the pool!!

but we were busy looking at everything else.  This is a great location.

By Tropics Cafe with Caribbean behind

By Tropics Cafe with Caribbean behind

Looking from the road, the roofs are far below us.

Houses in town

Houses in town

From certain views, we saw other Caribbean Islands.  Now the time has come to return to Fort Bay and ride the Edge II back to Sint Maarten.

Leaving Saba

Leaving Saba

We ducks and our humans had a great time on Saba.  We think you would enjoy Saba also.  If you go, tell us what you liked best.

Salt Pickers of Sint Maarten

My Alaska cousin and I, Zeb the Duck, viewed this monument near Phillipsburg, St. Maarten.   

Tribute to Salt Pickers

Tribute to Salt Pickers

 We did not know what a salt picker was.  Now we do and we want to refresh your memory of history also.

From 1624, when the Dutch found the Great Salt Pond until the 1960s, salt production defined the history and economy of St. Maartin.  Free people and slaves from the Dutch and the French side of the island completed the hard work of harvesting salt.

Salt has always been important to the island.  The Arawaks called the island Soualugia.  Soualugia means land of salt.

The Dutch side of the island farmed and exported as much as 400 boatloads of salt per year.  Wow!  That is more than one boatload every day.

Monument to Salt Pickers in St. Maarten

Monument to Salt Pickers in St. Maarten


Salt is collected as the sun causes the seawater to evaporate, leaving salt crystals.  One method involved shoveling and scraping the salt crystals from the ground.  Another process involved putting stakes in the salt ponds.  As the water evaporated, salt crystals remained on the stakes.  The clumps of salt crystals were removed by hand (called reaping) and used or exported.

The salt pickers are honored in St. Maartin by this monument near the Great Salt Pond.  St. Maartin and the world owe much to these salt pickers of years gone by.  I, Zeb the Duck, and my Alaska cousin

Zeb the Duck with Alaska cousin.

Zeb the Duck with Alaska cousin.

 are in awe of all they accomplished through hard work and sincerely appreciate their efforts.

Our Caribbean Dinner Cruise

A dinner cruise on the Tango sailboat!

The Tango before sails are up

The Tango before sails are up

St. Maarten has everything.  On the boat by 5:30 and we were ready for fun.  Here we are with Alaska uncle.

We are nervous but ready for fun

We are nervous but ready for fun

Ready for our first sailboat cruise.

We are really cruising.  Far behind us the shore waits for our return.

Sailing away

Sailing away

As the sun gets lower in the sky and darkness approaches, we try some rum punch.

Tropical beverages!

Tropical beverages!

Yum!  Our new friend works on the boat

He is so nice

He is so nice

and he thinks we are cute.  So is he.

With darkness our buffet is created.  We enjoy fish, chicken and a beef dish.  Sometimes walking on a sailing boat is a bit of a challenge, but we love it.

There is so much to say about this cruise, daylight, sunset, drinks, food and wonderful new friends to get our food ensure that we have a perfect Caribbean evening aboard the Tango.  It is dark and time to go.

Partial moon to guide us home

Partial moon to guide us home

The moon is watching over us as we return to our resort.

We loved this trip and believe you will too.  Don’t wait too long, it is too much fun.

More about Simpson Bay and Marina

Last time we talked to you, we shared our discoveries at Simpson Bay Resort and Marina.  Mom and Alaska uncle had been here about 7 years ago, but the complex was called Pelican Resort.  Pelican resort had a wonderful convenience store that was called the Peli Deli.  The Peli Deli is still there.

We love the Peli Deli

We love the Peli Deli

They have everything and for reasonable prices, not inflated resort prices.  We bought pop, beer and lots of ice cream bars there.  Even other snack food.  We love the Peli Deli!!

Our resort uses solar power to heat the water.  Here is a picture showing the solar panels.

solar panels for hot water

solar panels for hot water

We like energy savings places.  From our room, we see the pool, the pool bar and the beach.  One day at the pool we sat under this branch.  These leaves looked interesting from our lounges.

Different view of leaves

Different view of leaves

We had a bit of rain another day; here is the rainbow.

Rainbow over Simpson Bay

Rainbow over Simpson Bay

This boat, or raft, for kids to play near the beach is great.

If only we were human kids

If only we were human kids

The slide, the diving platforms and its location in the water make us yearn to be young humans.

The marina area has restaurants, stores and many boats.  The store for water sports or boat trips is called AquaMania.  These jet skis are a lot of fun.

Jet skis are fun

Jet skis are fun

AquaMania is where we purchased tickets for Saba.  Another evening we sailed on a different boat for the dinner cruise.  My Alaska cousin and I will tell you about those trips another day.  One morning during breakfast at Alexander’s by the marina, these birds enjoyed someone’s extra breakfast.

Birds need breakfast, too

Birds need breakfast, too

The pool by the main lobby is a little larger than our pool.

Main pool by lobby

Main pool by lobby

It is very pretty, but we love our pool.

Simpson Bay Resort and Marina has time-share condos, so there is a sales staff at the resort.  The sales manager and staff organized a couple events for all guests.  The events were nice, but there were a few concerns.  We talked to a staff member and also wrote a letter about our concerns.  We did not even receive an acknowledgement about our letter or concerns.  While we liked the resort and would happily stay there again, we would not purchase a condo as long as Jozef O’Niel, Director of Marketing or Rick work there.  If we were not important as guests and prospective buyers, we would never feel important or valued as owners.  Alaska uncle owns several weeks in Las Vegas, Nevada and mom owns multiple weeks in Winter Park, Colorado.   That will be enough for now.

Simpson Bay Resort and Marina

We are in the Caribbean!!  I see the beach.  It is warm and sunny here.  My Alaska cousin and I, Zeb the Duck, love Sint Maarten.  Cool Dutch spelling!  Mom and my Alaska uncle say we will stay here for a week.

Our home for one week

Our home for one week

Yeah!!

Our condo has views of the ocean and one of our pools.

View from our room

View from our room

We have several dining choices here.  For breakfast we can go by the marina and eat at Alexander’s.  We can go just past the Peli Deli (more on that wonderful place later) and eat at Bon Appetit.

Dinner is served at Alexander’s other restaurant, upstairs by Bon Appetit.  We can choose The Stone by the marina or the Hollywood restaurant by the Hollywood Casino.  Also, the pool and beach bars serve lunch and early dinner.  So many food choices!  We tried almost all of them.

We have two pools.  One is just outside our door.

Our pool

Our pool

They offer water aerobics classes in our pool every morning.  The other pool is by the next building near the complex lobby.

Since we ducks have never even seen a beach, let’s start there.  Our beach is on a bay, so we have gentle waves that humans love.  Some humans swim, some play in the waves and some walk around the ocean water with big smiles on their faces.  There is a bar, which serves mixed drinks, beer, soft drinks and many sandwiches.

Beach bar and grill

Beach bar and grill

Everything I tried there was very good, and I tried lots of things!

We walked on the beach and even got wet when the waves came further up the sand.

Feet on the sand

Feet on the sand

It is fun.  The water is warm, but rather salty.  There is a net for beach volleyball.  We could never hit a ball that high, but we could have fun playing here.

Volleyball anyone?

Volleyball anyone?

A man brought beach lounge chairs for us to use.  Very nice.  He put the chairs by shade and a little table.  Mom said these grassy shade things are palapas.

Beach with palapas

Beach with palapas

We love the beach.  A lady is selling some beach supplies.

Shopping on the beach

Shopping on the beach

She has hats, dresses, swimsuit cover-ups, beach bags, some jewelry and other items.  This is so convenient!! Of course the beach bar provides food and beverages for us.  We ducks want to play on the beach, so we will continue this next time.  Sunshine, sand and warm water.  This is perfect.