Saint Martin and Sint Maarten

Sun Wing Boeing 737 over Maho Beach

Sun Wing Boeing 737 over Maho Beach

The Caribbean island of Saint Martin can be a confusing place, as it is shared between two European nations — France and the Netherlands.  And while the island is known as Saint Martin, the French side adds a hyphen to the name (Saint-Martin) while the Dutch side changes the spelling altogether (Sint Maarten).

Saint Martin Mass Transit?

Saint Martin Mass Transit?

Our ship left Aruba and the ABC Islands for this Caribbean oddity, and we arrived there after a full day at sea following our Aruba departure.  Upon our arrival and group of eight of us hired a taxi to take us to points of interest in both jurisdictions.  Among those points of interest were Orient Bay Beach (French side) which includes a nude sunbathing section where photography is understandably prohibited, and the awesome Maho Bay Beach located directly beneath the flightpath to the island’s Princess Juliana International Airport.

Orient Bay Saint-Martin

Orient Bay Saint-Martin

Take precautions against jet blast while on Maho Beach, however.  Those impressive landing aircraft also take off, and in the same direction.  Thus, the jet blast of some very large aircraft is blown directly across this same beach and serious injuries or even death may result if care is not maintained.  Even standing beneath arrivals can lead to peril, as just a month before our visit an airliner came in too low and struck the boundary fence separating the beach from airport property.  As for the arrival schedule, consult the surfboard at the beach-located Sunset Bar and Grill to see when the larger aircraft are due.

Below are some of the shots I manage around the island, but come back for Fun Photo Friday for a glimpse at the most impressive shot not only of Maho Beach, but our entire relocation cruise (Hint:  It involves a Boeing 747 flying under KLM colors).

Click on any of the below images to bring up an enlarged version:



Filed under Photography, travel

4 responses to “Saint Martin and Sint Maarten

  1. The name of the island is still the same, only in Dutch rather than French. In fact, it almost feels like Belgium, where the same city has two, sometimes three different names in Flemish and French and sometimes German as well.

    I’m not all that surprised to see a KLM 747, since KLM and Martinair have a lot of connections to the Dutch Antilles, which are popular overseas holiday destination for Dutch tourists. The DHC-6 is something of a surprise, though since these planes are rarely seen in Europe.

    • On Friday I’ll be posting my favorite shot of the cruise — a close-up of that inbound Boeing 747 directly over Maho Beach.

  2. Pingback: Maho Beach - WaltherForums

  3. The unique location of the airport, right next to Maho Beach, hotels, and beach bars, led to a challenging experience of its own: Sandblasting. So strong, that humans, beach items, and even cars have been thrown into the air.