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Day 11 Monday Sint Maarten – Philsburg (5 hours)

When we arrived at Philsburg at 13:00 the harbour was filled with cruise liners. We where on the Dutch side of the island divided by the Dutch and French. US Dollars where accepted in the shops.

We had reserved tickets for the “See and Sea Island Tour”. A trip with a glass bottomed boat to view the corals. We had a note in our cabin the previous evening in Italian about the tickets. At the Info desk the man had a Websters  Italian / English dictionary where we looked at the only word that was strange – it translated to “FORGET” . We could not understand the meaning that they could not deliver our tickets because the printer did not work.  The excursion was postponed because of the bad weather. That meant we had ample time to watch the tourist shops on the pier. Before we went a shore we took the “Single Dish” again to save time.

 

On the pier area there was a very good shop with quality beach clothes (US made) called “Island Living”. We took a cold beer on the bench and listened to a steel pan orchestra playing in a gazebo on the square.

We also bought a pirate calypso CD under the counter from a kiosk. The stores where built on a fenced tourist area. You could not walk along the beach even if the distance to the city was not far. Couple of brave ones took a private taxi to Maho Beach to watch the airplanes landing over the beach. They almost missed the boat because of the heavy traffic jam on the way back.

When the boat was leaving the harbour we had a safety drill that everyone had to attend to. We stood at the lifeboat stations women and children in front and men in the back row in lifejackets while they announced what we had to do in case of an emergency. This was the only time the English announcement came first and the French announcement last after 6 other languages.

The staff was inspecting the passengers with a hard look on their eyes when the announcement where played to emphasize that this was a serious matter.

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 Last updated: 04.05.2011  Markku Tiuri  ZORRO Home Page
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