Tag Archives: sea

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.

IMG_2461.JPG

 

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.

IMG_2481.JPG

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.

IMG_2500.JPG

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.

IMG_2514

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.

IMG_2530.JPG

“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

Advertisements

Trash, the Island, and My Latest Article

What’s the worst thing about an island community? The eco-conscious among us would likely say sustainability problems. Image it: we have over 75,000 people on a 37 square-mile rock in the middle of the ocean. Where is all that nasty groundwater run-off going to go? Where is all the trash going to land?

Now, before you check out of what you think is going to be yet another Greenpeace-style soapbox rant, consider the delicacy of our microscopic ecosystem and the impact that you can make on it. Even if you don’t live in the Caribbean, you may want to visit some day for a vacation (Do it! It’s beautiful here). You may be surprised to find out that visitors have a gigantic impact on the appearance of sustainability of the island.

How? Find out in the article I authored for Seven Seas Magazine. The article’s title is “The Other Side of the Island” and it is on page 30. Let me know what you think! Do you have any other ideas for how tourists can contribute to a healthy ecosystem?

15761181.jpg

 

 

Buccaneers!

 

IMG_0745

In Sint Maarten, there a lot of airy little restaurants on the water. Today’s destination for the American University of the Caribbean spouse’s crew was Buccaneer Beach Bar. Despite its name, this is actually a great place to take kids. It’s right on the beach, and the water is shallow. It’s also a calm area, even on days when other areas of the island have big waves.

IMG_0590
They also have a delicious assortment of non-alcoholic drinks in addition to their bar menu, and classic beachy food.

IMG_0700.JPG

If you make it to SXM, make sure you visit one of our on-the-beach restaurants! Who doesn’t want to lounge on a beach chair with a plate of fries and a glass of something cool and sweet?

 

 

IMG_0696.JPG
We saw this tiny stingray lazily drift around the bay

Into the Wild

 Out into the wild we go, past the sea, and up the hill, and into the long, tall grass.

   

 We go where the breezes blow the butterflies as delicate as glass. 

Up and up, up we go. We go where the breezes blow and ripple the sea of grass.

  

Up the trail the burros know, up and up and up we go to reach the top at last.

  
Wilderness is the northernmost tip of the island of Saint Martin. The treacherous reef hiding beneath the breakers tempts only the most daring surfers, and the grassy hills call to those disenchanted by the crowded streets of the cities. Wilderness is a poetic place– it inspires the pens of writers and the brushes of painters. For a day free of the bustle of life, come to the northern hills and listen to the song of the sea.

Foodie Tuesdays: Parrotfish Fajitas

Before you can begin to cook these deliciously fishy fajitas, you must obtain a fish. You could buy one at the grocery store, or you could catch one with your own rod and reel.

We spent today adventuring around our island home: first to the French side for fishing and snorkeling, and then to the Dutch side to see Fort Amsterdam. My parents gave me a waterproof phone case for Christmas, so while Ben caught fish for dinner, I caught fish on camera.

IMG_4473.JPG

IMG_4569.JPG

IMG_4659.JPG

IMG_4626.JPG

IMG_4335.JPG

IMG_4356.JPG

IMG_4447.JPG
Parrotfish

Ben caught a parrotfish, two glasseye snappers, and two doctor fish. Since ciguatera toxin is prevalent in our area, we checked online to make sure the fish are safe to eat. We threw out the snappers because they are high-risk ciguatera carriers. The doctor fish were tiny and rarely carry the toxin anyway, so we kept them. We were a little concerned about the parrotfish since it was over six inches, but it’s low-risk so we decided to try it. I guess we’ll find out in the morning if we’re OK; Ciguatera poisoning hits within twelve hours.

I think we’ll be alright.

IMG_4680

Once the fish were home and cleaned, it was time to start cooking.

To make the fajitas, gather your ingredients:

  • four
  • water
  • salt
  • oil
  • fish
  • bell peppers
  • onions
  • shallots
  • lemon
  • Spices: salt, pepper, cumin, garlic salt

My favorite tortilla recipe is from Taste of Home. I never buy tortillas from the store anymore! Mix 2 cups of flour, a little salt, 3/4 cups of water and 3 Tablespoons of oil. Let rest, roll out, and fry.

IMG_4709

Season fish with salt, pepper, and lemon.

IMG_4713

Slice onions, bell peppers, and shallots into thin slices.

IMG_4710

Put a quarter cup of oil in a flying pan and heat it to medium heat. Mix in seasonings to your preference. Fry veggies for a few minutes and then add whole fish.

IMG_4720

Yum, yum! Smelling good, now. Make some rice while you cook the fish and veggies. The onions should be caramelized.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. Break out the salsa.

IMG_4722

Remove the skin from the fish, flake off the meat, and pile it all on the tortillas.

Enjoy your fajitas!

IMG_4723