Sint Maarten
June 6- 22, 2013
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Ocean Club

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Going to a cookout party.

By Air or Sea....

(Shorter Trip report than usual, but that is because we enjoyed staying at the Ocean Club rather than driving.)

This is our 11th Trip to St Martin.  It was our last trip using AA CitiBank FF miles.  After nine years of getting to SXM, booking 330 days in advance on any travel days,  AA decided to limit most, if not all FF seats to 35K one way.  We called and they told us tough luck, going through bankruptcy. Canceled the cards and started Capitol One Venture. 

We always go during weeks 23-24 and we started trying to get flights at 330 days before.  We could not get 17.5K flights from SAT-SXM, but we could get them DFW - thru Birmingham and MIA to SXM on a Thursday.  We had to buy the SAT to DFW tickets for about $200. 

Day to travel comes...get up extremely early to catch a 5:45AM flight from SAT to DWF...get there and find out that the DFW to Birmingham flight is so late in arriving that we can not make the connection from Birmingham to MIA.  So, we call and get seats on the DWF to MIA flight at 12:30.  Why weren't those seats available 330 days in advance?

Anyway, even though our tickets read 5:45 PM from MIA to SXM, it should have been 6:45 PM to 9:30 PM.  The flight was delayed and the captain had to ask SXM to keep the airport open beyond the 10 PM curfew.  We landed at 10:25 PM and profusely thanked the airport staff for staying open.

Lesley was there...loyal and true.  Got the slightly used R 17 Corolla with the pre-arranged cell phone from Sharon and promptly went to the Ocean Club.  After the security guard opened the big iron gate and gave us our key, we found our second home (15D) just as beautiful as we left it last June. 

It had been nicely stocked by Jeannie of ShopNDrop .  Super service to have the first night and morning essentials waiting for you.  After doing a few minor repairs, we hit the pool and then the sack and enjoyed listening to the night time showers. 


Friday, Day One, we took a trip to Rima's, Grand Marche for vittles, Mark's for lunch, and Scarlet in Simpson bay to get a modem.  

Then we met Sal, the new owner of the OC Grill and were delighted that his daughter Gena, and his fiance, Sue,  are going to keep the grill open year round.   So good to see Petra again cooking and Jason staying on cooking (at least until December).

We hit the OC Beach and thoroughly enjoyed the sand there.  


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Watch dog on the rock

Plenty of sand

OC Pool guests

From the OC landing. 


TTOL Party at the Summit


On Tuesday, June 11, we held our TTOL Meet&Great was held at the Summit Resort.   It was hosted wonderfully by Michael of Tropical Heaven restaurant.  Bruce the owner and his staff of the Summit were there as well as Sal of the OC Grill.  Our travel friends Linda (JazzGal) and Donna as well as Deb (ScubaDeb) and Jean were there.  

Our friends Jo & Bob, Dan and Judy, Flea and Debbie with Austin came over from the Ocean Club.  Adrianna and Dave (SailStMaarten), and Jeannie from ShopNDrop joined us as well and graced us with some local information.

Thanks to Sharon (Queen of SXM) for vouching for us with Michael and to Sal for contributing one of the platters of appetizers. 






13th Annual Steak Night at Ocean Club

Dan and Judy

Jo & Bob from North Carolina have been our good friends since we found them at OC 10 years ago.  They always bring interesting people with them.  Bill and May, Judy and Dan are all are wonderful companions.   These friends at the Ocean Club are primary reasons we return year after year.    All of us keep an eye on the others for safety and needs.  We have happy hours often on one of the porches and occasionally share a meal. 

Bill buys steaks and grills them on what ever apparatus we can find.  The cost is growing on the beef, so chicken may be more prevalent next year.

This year, Sal and Sue agreed to let us use the OC grill and provided green salad.  Everyone contributes something and we split the cost.  We laugh, reminisce, and enjoy the company. 

Jo and daughter Debbie

Don, Austin, Flea, Bill, Bob, and Dan

Sal, Sue and Gena - new owners of the Grill

Mae, Judy, Linda, Jo and Debbie



Dinner Cruise on the Passaat

On Thursday night, we embarked from the Yacht Club at the drawbridge in a rubber dinghy for the 1911 sailing schooner - the Passaat - for a dinner cruise.  We were met by Miriam who tendered us to the boat.  Captain Pieter greeted us with drinks to order and after the rest of our crew arrived (12), we weighed anchor and set sail around to the north of Simpson bay. 

The moon was gorgeous and the waves appropriate.  After about an hour, we turned and headed back.  After anchoring and setting up, we sat at a huge table for dinner.   A great meal of mahi-mahi or chicken), wine and salad was enjoyed by all.

We all enjoyed visiting, sharing, and planning for more St Martin adventures.  Good to have Linda (JazzGal) and Donna join us.   


Pieter and Linda


Linda (JazzGal)

Cupecoy  Beach Area


Where the rocks have been placed.


There was adequate to good sand under the OC and some at Dany's Cupecoy Beach.  The lot above the cliffs has been cleared of bushes.  Some of the trees remain.  It does make it safer.  The roads into the main Cupecoy beach are sometimes blocked and sometimes not, depending on the equipment moving debris. 

Blue Mall is coming along.  Numerous shops are open.  Puerto Cupecoy is picking up business.  Still plenty of room. 


Another entrance being blocked




Traffic Traffic was not as bad this year.   But, we stayed home at OC quite a bit of our 16 days.
Crime Saw none nor saw anything that worried us.  We were almost stopped by Gendarmes at the round-about just entering Marigot from the Grand Case side, but they had several stopped already and let us through.  
Money Took about $1200 in small bills.  Used Capital One Venture for food, lodging, and Rimas.  Brought back about $300. 
Meals We ate at the OC Grill many times.   We cook most of our own meals so we know what we are eating.   The Maho Express was open at 11:00 PM on the Thursday we arrived.  
OC Security Guards 24-7.  Large gate closed at night.  Surveillance cameras all over the beach landing area.  New solid core doors being installed.  Patio door wood blocks.   Lot cleared between OC and Dany's. 
Internet Rented the Scarlet modem again for two weeks.  The cost was about $85 and it worked poorly in the OC unit 15D.   The OC pool WiFi was finally reconnected about 10 days into our stay and is free with the password.  It is working much better this year.