… diving in the West-Indies, part 3


And the last part of my vacation:

My air-hostess sister invited me to spend a few days in Saint Martin with her. (Where the hell is Saint Martin? Sounds like some dodgy suburb outside Lille!). Well, no, Saint Martin is this tiny island in the Caribbeans between Anguila and Saint Barths (as if knowing that helped!). As I said, the island is tiny and there’s absolutely nothing to do there but the French and the Dutch both thought this tiny piece of land with no natural resources whatsoever was precious enough to start a war over it. To cut a boring story short, they decided to split the island in half, the southern part belongs to the Netherlands now and the north to France. There’s a little border in the middle and in spite of the size of the island, people on each side speak different languages, pay in different currencies (you must pay in old Dutch Guldens in the Dutch part!! Like hello! didn’t hear about the euro?). The southern part is invaded by cruising Americans who spend money in casinos and on drugs and the north looks like my aunt Josiane’s backyard with a few palm-trees and without the dwarves and the small windmills.
The ocean is blue and transparent. Sounds nice doesn’t it? However, I wished it hadn’t been that transparent as some ugly and scary fish swim in it too.
We took a day trip on a fancy catamaran, landed on a desert island (felt like catching fish with my teeth like in Suvivor), barbecued on the boat, chatted with the skipper (who was far less sexy than in my imagination, those of you who know the wonderful world of French music, certainly remember the singer Carlos and will get the piture) and dove among really cute fish directly taken from Nemo’s world. It was all very nice until we saw it.
The shark!
Brown, long, spiky nose and bad teeth.
I swear I could hear the soundtrack of “Jaws” in the water!
My sister and I are good swimmers but slow ones too (it runs in the family). However, I bet you have never seen such quick mermaids fly above the water, jump onto the boat, crawl into the cabin and try to disppear when we saw the creature.
Carlos the skipper laughed and introduced us to Marcel. Marcel is not a shark, he is a baracuda, but a fucking big baracuda. (I hated Carlos the skipper and the food that left his mouth as he laughed). It only kills a few tourists per year he said. Oh that made me feel so much better!
No more snorkling in the water for me. That’s when I started to drink on the deck and turned into a living lobster.
A few days later, our plane nearly crashed at take off. As I was travelling “stand-by” and there was no seat available for me, I had to sit in the cockpit and witnessed the whole incident.
Have you ever sat in a cockpit at take off and heard a sudden alarm as your plane is leaving the ground and the captain is yelling: We must stop everything NOW!?
That’s when you realize how sweet baracudas actually are.

Right: Almost crashing at take off! Horror scene in the cockpit with fellow “stand by” passenger.

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2 Responses

  1. This is the best entry yet. My Mum’s been St Maarten. The Dutch part is the posh bit, right? Love the photo, too!

  2. Promise I will send you live coverage of my plane crashing in Athens in a few days to enrich this site…
    Biz
    Elisabeth

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