This month, we have been blessed with the weather! After a pretty windy winter, we finally have decent conditions for paddleboarding in St Maarten. Winter was also super busy for us, and as we could finish late, it's not easy to go for a paddle board ride after a day at work.
Thankfully, my friend and neighbor Scud pushed me by starting paddleboarding after his day at the famous Yellow Beach in Pinel Island. We alternate with my Bic Inflatable Air 10'6 and his favorite one for downwind, the Bic Wing 12'6 which works really great!
I was first really amazed by the inflatable 10'6 which is really stable, and finally rigid for an "air" board. Bic made a great work on that one, and I think I'll go forward on it a buy touring boards for the next season. This is great way to involve locals because we only need to load the trunk of my truck and drive around St Maarten, inflate the board and go for a tour! I still to think about it..
I also have a great pleasure riding the 12'6, and thanks to my good friend Jeni, I have now sound on my board via the Ecoxgear speaker!
Living in Saint-Martin has many assets to offer. And one of them is that we have Islands closed by to travel to in no time, either for a day trip or for the week end. An Island Hoping paradise for everybody: the locals and the visitors!
Anguilla is the British Island located at the North of Saint-Martin, less than 4 miles away. It is famous for its beautiful beaches and its crystal clear water. This is the perfect Island for a relaxing getaway (beach, snorkeling, water activities…) since besides the magnificent coast, there is not much to do over there.
Saba is located at the South West of Sint-Marteen and belongs to the Dutch. It is actually the highest land of Netherland! The landscape is the opposite from Anguilla’s (which is absolutely flat) and the particularity of this island is… It is a beachless Caribbean Island. How incredible, right? But no worries, you still have a lot to do over there, mostly sportive activities! Basically, Saba is well known for its beautiful hikes in the mountain with thousands of different plants & amazing deep dives with colorful reefs. This is a great alternative from the “beach style” vacations that most of the Caribbean Islands usually offer.
And the last, but not the least: Saint-Barth
. We are sure that you have already heard of it, isn’t it? ☺ Saint-Barth is located at the west of Saint-Martin, and is accessible either by ferry (30 minutes of ferry ride), by charter plane (12 minutes of flight), with a helicopter (10 minutes of flight) or by private boat. This island is a pure gem! Famous to be the destination for the famous and rich people, this French island has everything to satisfy everybody’s tastes (but still pricey)! Hilly landscapes with amazing point of views of the deep blue & turquoise Caribbean sea, white sand beaches, great shopping (!!), 5 stars resorts or charming casual ones, gastronomic restaurants, hikes on the wild side, natural pools… And of course, all the water activities you can think of!
Are you thinking of going to Pinel Island during your stay on Saint-Martin?
First, this is definitely a great idea that should be at the top of your “to do list”. Pinel is a must see, and spend the day over there is a guarantee of an unforgettable experience.
Second, there is nothing easier!
In Cul de Sac ferry station, the boats are departing everyday (except if the weather condition does not allow it) and at a very frequent times: every 30 minutes.
Basically, during high season, the ferries run from Monday through Sunday, from 9h30am until 5:00pm (same opening hours as Caribbean Paddling all year long ;)). During low season, the last ferry back from Pinel Island leaves at 4:00pm and you’d better not miss it if you do not want to spend the night with our favorite iguanas!
To sum up, in low season, renting your gear through us to spend the day on Pinel gives you an extra hour in P.A.R.A.D.I.S.E.
More time to enjoy the sun, the white sand beaches, the turquoise water, some snorkelling & paddling in the bay, and why not one last homemade cocktail? ;)
You will find bellow the ferry schedule to go to Pinel Island, according to the time of the year you will be visiting our friendly island.
A lot of people ask this question: how can I reach you and/or Pinel Island? For us residents of St Martin - St Maarten, this is quite simple: just follow the road! It really is simple since there is only one road on our island! But, for everyone else, it's not as easy.
There are three possible places you might be starting from...
This week, Mother Nature sent us a gift by providing us with a strong swell coming from storm Alex located in the Atlantic. That was the opportunity for us to test our brand new F-One Madeiro paddle boards in real conditions. My good friend Johann was in the party, and Likka was on the beach for the pictures.
After checking the swell at Baie aux Prunes, we finally ended at Anse des Pères for some nice take-off.
Today , I met my new friend Barry and his girlfriend for another trip to St Martin! The meeting point: Maho Beach at the end of the runway of the airport Juliana !
There are 2 years , Barry had hired me 2 paddle boards had been already photographed at Maho Beach . His picture was even selected as picture of the year by the magazine SUPconnect.com ! That was in 2011. This year, he returns by St Martin with his friends, and gave me a call about doing another photo shoot. There was just to bring 3 standup paddle boards before heading to the beach . After drinking a beer together at the legendary Sunset Cafe , it was time to get to the water.
After a beach start , we paddled 50m and we are aligned with the runway , we had only to wait for the aircrafts, hoping to see big ones! I 've been here several times with friends to Maho to watch planes from the beach , but never ON the water .. Barry gave me the opportunity this year and it was amaaazing !
The gallery below is my own selection with my GoPro . I expect pictures of Barry to complete this super afternoon stand up paddle in Maho !