Tag Archives: boats

105 Boats

One hundred five. That’s how many boats I could see from the balcony this morning as contestants from the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta began their race around the island.



The Regatta is a huge deal for us islanders. It’s the biggest event of the month! Traffic has been backed up for days, and the Cupecoy folk can hardly get to the other side of the island. Earlier this week, Stacey and I tried to get to Philipsburg for our volunteer tutor job, but after almost an hour and only three miles, we gave up and went home. It doesn’t help that the only way from the “arm” of the island to the main part of the island is across one of two bridges, both of which are up for hours a day to let regatta boats in or out of the lagoon.


Despite the traffic, it’s pretty exciting. Many people from Ben’s school are planning to charter a boat and go watch tomorrow’s big race on the water. I’ll be watching from the cliffs, or maybe even paddle¬†out on my surf board for a bit.


I caught sight of the race-ready boats this morning while taking the pups to the beach. By the time I got home, the sailboats were full speed ahead, and I had a chance to watch for a while from the balcony. If I didn’t have a lot to get done today, I would have stayed out all morning!



This boat, Phaedo 3, won this morning’s race by circumnavigating the island in a record-breaking 1 hour, 19 minutes and 59 seconds. When I saw it, I was sure it had a motor. It was flying along! I love this photo–the sun’s reflection makes the boat look like a starship of the future.


Tomorrow will be another day of wind and water! I can’t wait to spend the afternoon with¬†Ben and friends at the water’s edge.


“Well, it’s not far down to paradise, at least it’s not for me
And if the wind is right you can sail away and find tranquility…
Sailing, takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be…
Just a dream and the wind to carry me
And soon I will be free…”
~ Christopher Cross


Some of the best places in the world are the little tucked-away gems that you’d never expect to find. Carousel is like that. This gelato shop in Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten is not your average ice cream stop. 

My friend Stacey suggested a spontaneous trip to Carousel this afternoon. I’d never been, and I was more than happy to make an ice cream run on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
 The theme of the shop is, of course, carousels. The building is round, and so it the counter. We entered through the revolving glass door and viewed our options.

 We bypassed the cotton candy bar– tempting as it was– for the ice cream. There were so many flavors! I’m slightly lactose intolerant, so I was happy to see a dozen sorbet flavors. I chose kiwi. Yum.
Stacey showed me around– inside are monochromatic murals of carousels, and outside are famous historic photos of people eating ice cream– everyone from U.S presidents to British actors to iraqi school children. Iced treats are a universal delight!

The best part of all was the giant, real-life carousel in the back, just waiting to be ridden by children!

Even the gift shop was adorable. Stacey said that when she has a daughter, she’ll give her a ballerina music box like the ones in the shop. I liked the porceline carousels best.

 We took our ice cream outside and watched the boats in the lagoon. I can’t think of a better way to spend a warm, slow Sunday afternoon in the tropics.