Hi! It's Karen from Karen Vincent Solutions.
This boat trip, my friends, is one for the books. We went to so many places, had so many laughs and were entertained by the crew throughout the entire trip. Because with the Billy Bones Boat Charter, we were on a high-speed powerboat, this six-hour trip allowed us to stop at five different locations including having a sit-down lunch at a beachfront restaurant along the way.
We felt like we were able to do and see a lot in a relatively short amount of time which was great. While we wanted to see a much as possible while in St. Martin, we also wanted to be sure we had enough time to enjoy The Belmond La Samanna, the beautiful resort where were staying. To learn more about this amazing resort, check out my blog post St. Martin – The Belmond La Samanna.
We started out by cruising along the coast which was absolutely beautiful. Looking out we could see Saba and St. Barths islands. We then went to Simpson Bay Lagoon, the largest saltwater lagoon in the Caribbean, which used to house lots of million-dollar Mega Yachts. The Mega Yachts were there because it is a safe, protected lagoon that had not been devastated by Hurricanes for a hundred years…until 2017 when Hurricane Irma struck.
Despite us being there a year later, there were still many boats on shore, half sunken or just in horrible shape. Because the lagoon is so protected, many owners would leave their yachts there through the hurricane season, however, that is no longer the case. We were there just at the very beginning of hurricane season and although there were a few Mega Yachts there, most had already headed south and out of the path of any potential hurricanes.
We were able to see the Mega Yacht Adastra which is a trimaran-type yacht that is 140 feet long. This yacht looks like something out of a science fiction movie and was built for long range ocean voyaging. It’s can cruise up to twenty-two knots per hour and is reported to be very seaworthy. It was quite a site to see!
Next, the Captain put the boat into high gear, and we hung on as we headed out to Creole Rock where we were provided with fins, snorkels and masks. We then jumped in the water for some snorkeling. Creole Rock is part of the French National Park and swimming around the rock formation side by side, my husband and I were able to see lots of colorful tropical fish and coral. The water was warm, and we were given ample time to fully explore all the underwater beauty at Creole Rock.
Upon boarding the boat, guests were offered water, rum punch and beers. We then headed out to Tintamarre Island where we jumped off the boat and snorkeled with turtles. We were able to get close and watch them as they came up to the surface for air and dove back down to feed on the grass at the bottom of the ocean. This was a new experience for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed just floating on the surface of the water and observing the turtles in their natural habitat.
We then headed out to Pinal Island where were swam off the boat, explored, and checked out the small tiki hut shops. Two women on the tour had been in the past and new that bringing a head of lettuce would draw out the many iguanas who inhabit the island. In a matter of seconds, tons of iguanas headed our way and were more than willing to be hand fed by those who were eager to get up close and personal with them(umm…not me!).
The next part of the ride is where things got interesting. Because the winds had been strong and based on the direction we needed to head to get us to our next stop, we had to head directly into the large waves as we headed out of Pinal Island. The Captain asked some of the men to move to the back of the boat in order to raise the bow up as the waves hit…and then we were off.
The music was cranked up and we were all shouting out the lyrics to “Don’t stop believing” and hanging on tight. The waves were crashing over us, the boat felt like it was airborne at times…and it could not have been more exhilarating. The good news is that the waves were that big only for a short period of time before we hit fairly calm water again. The first mate even got out some water noodles and enlisted some guests to join his “boat band”.
He also made sure that anyone looking for a drink was provided with one promptly and continued to make jokes, provide information about what we were seeing and entertain us in general as he did throughout the entire excursion.
Next, we headed to Grand Case where we sat outside and had lunch at the Rainbow Café, located right on the beach. I got a salad with shrimp and my husband got barbecue. Both were excellent. We had time to enjoy a leisurely lunch before boarding the boat again and heading further up the island.
We stayed close to the coast and were able to see sprawling beachfront homes, most of which were destroyed by Hurricane Irma. As we continued our ride, we passed The Belmond La Samanna where we were staying. It was fun to see the beautiful resort from a different perspective.
Princess Juliana International Airport has an extremely short runway (7.152 feet) and requires planes to come in very low over the ocean and Maho Beach so that they hit the runway immediately and have time to stop before getting to the other end. We headed over close to the beach and watched several large planes come in very low and make the challenging airport landing which was really cool to see.
Our final stop was at Long Bay for some swimming, beach time and relaxing with the “floating bar”. And by floating bar I mean that the boat crew will hand you a drink as you float in the clear, warm water. We put on snorkels and enjoyed watching the fish swimming below.
The Captain and First Mate continue to attentively tend to all guests and make sure everyone had what they needed. As we were swimming, a brief rain shower passed through which did not stop anyone from swimming and enjoying the warm Caribbean water.
This was a fun, interesting and at times a bit of an adventurous excursion that I would highly recommend. I feel grateful that we were able to see so many different parts of the island and to have so much time to spend in the beautiful Caribbean water enjoying the marine life. This is a must for anyone who enjoys swimming and snorkeling and wants to have an all-out fun day!
Live your best Boss Lady life!