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journey

Marigot, St. Martin

Got up bright and early this morning for breakfast and a shower, then headed up to the spa for a much-needed haircut. Susan did a great job making me look presentable again. Then I headed back down to get ready to go out - we were already at anchor way out in the bay at St. Martin.

The tender boats had to go quite a ways - definitely more than a mile. Once I got on shore at Marigot, I wasn't sure what I was going to do - I was completely plan-less. Then I found out they needed a crew escort for one of the excursions (someone to make sure we kept track of all the guests, and who can report back on the quality of the tour guide, etc), and I was game.

The excursion was the "St. Martin Mountaintop Downhill Rainforest Trek". There were eleven guests plus myself. We took a bus to Loterie Farm (a private nature preserve and historical site), and then were issued walking sticks and climbed on board an open-air "safari truck" for the ascent to St. Martin's highest point. The road was rutted and narrow, and we bounced around a lot, it was like an amusement park ride, really. When we reached the top, we took some pictures of the harbor below, and then started our 2km hike down through the forest. Along the way, Derry (our guide) told us about the history of the island, about how the slaves once gathered and processed sugar cane, and how much of the forest we were seeing had grown in since then, instead of the enormous expanses of sugar cane that once covered the mountainside. The hike was about two hours back down to where we had transferred to the safari truck. At that point we had some complimentary rum punch, and then the bus picked us up and took us back to the harbor.

Once back in downtown Marigot, I stopped at "le bar de la mer" for lunch. I don't know much french, but I figured that one out. I did say "merci" to the waitress, amounting to about 10% of the french words I know.

After lunch, I headed back to the ship. I had originally been scheduled to play out at the pool deck from 6-8:30pm, but at the last minute they decided (and I think it was a good idea) to try and get a caribbean steel drum band to play, so I ended up playing my usual spot. Since the pool deck activity was going on at the same time, I didn't have many listeners for a while, but I did end up with quite a few people out on the aft deck with me by the end. Dan Daly was performing a swing set with the Journey Orchestra from 8:30-9:30, so I went out and checked out part of his show, which was great. Then I grabbed some dinner, and headed down to my cabin for the evening.

As I type this (at about 11pm our time), I hear the anchors being reeled in. Soon, we'll be under way for our next port of call.

Next: St. Kitts

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