There are birds in St Martin called Bananaquits or lacally sugarbirds, because if you put out a dish or small plate of sugar out on your deck or patio they will come by to feast---gorgeous golden birds similar to our goldfinches but bigger....also sometimes if you put out a small bowl of water they will bathe in it, if it has not rained in a bit....
Moulin a Sel (Salt Mill)
As of the 17th century, the Saint-Martin ponds were operated for salt extraction. The Grand-Case salt pond was the biggest one of the French side of the island; the production was exported to France, Canada and USA.
The precious mineral then allowed the preservation of meat and saltfish. In the middle of the 19th century, industrial operation began. The salt was crushed with a mill, using a steam boiler of which no trace is left nowadays. The last salt extraction took place in 1961.
Located two miles west of Sandy Ground and within walking distance of Marigot (if you like long walks), Baie Rouge is home to one of St. Martin’s most popular beaches. After spending several days in Anguilla, it was difficult to be impressed by the golden sand which had the texture and color of cornmeal, or somewhat choppy seas. But it isn’t a bad beach, and the area is said to be good for snorkeling. Be warned – Orient Beach isn’t the only beach with nudists; there are plenty at Baie Rouge as well.
LOve Saint Martin
"What we did"
Well, upon arriving from the states, we rented a car from Tropicana Car Rental who picked us up at the airport. We made our way to our timeshare condo Saphirre Beach Club, checked in, went to the grocery store and bought some food,rested and had a bite to eat downstairs at the outdoor restaraunt.
Next day we took advantage of the hotel get to know St Martin meeting in the Lobby. We won a 2for one on the Bluebeard sailboat. After the meeting we went to Orient Beach and my Navy Seal husband swam to the little cave straight from the beach. Thank goodness he came back and we went back to the hotel and made our own scallops and noodles with garlic bread. Watched the cruise ships depart, and went out to the Sunset Beach Bar. Realizing he left the snorkel at Orient Beach on the "no pictures" sign we drove all the way over there at 10pm and thankfully the snorkel and mask we still hanging there. Next day the cruise on Bluebeard. Very good. Everyone uses noodles for snorkeling which cracked us up. I mean it is salt water, andyou float. Funny. Next day we found Paradise! Baie Rouge. Spent the day with our cooler of Rum and cokes. Gorgeous! Next day we took a catamaran to Anguilla. Another paradise hiding! Snorkeld and had a blast! Went out to the Casino Royal and won 120 dollars on slots. Next day we hung out at Orient Beach and also went to Phillipsburg for shopping. Of course we hit all the beaches in our car, Grand Case, Mullet Bay, Maho Beach and the airplanes. I must say it was the best trip EVER!I have been to numerous islands but this one tops them all as a romantic getaway, not too expensive, and very relaxing!
Really loved the location our timeshare was. Saphire Beach Club. Beautiful beaches, close to everything except Orient Beach but the drive was fun!
Wish i could load more pictures but i will load the best pic....Baie Rouge
The best thing about St Martin was the fact that the beaches were virtually empty except for Orient Beach. It was heaven!! I will return and hopefully rent one of the houses on the beach... anyone wanna go in with me?
"Saphire Beach Club"
I read some not so nice things on Trip Advisor about the property we were staying at, but I was thrilled with our accomodations. We were on the 3rd floor which gave us a great view...we had 3 sides of view...one of the ocean, one balcony on the side of the building which was a nice view of other buildings, and then the street view, of a marina. We had a full kitchen, jacuzzi tub on our patio, nice living area, two tv's and wonderful location! Close to Maho Beach and the Sunset Beach Bar, close to Baie Rouge, and of course not too bad to Phillipsburg. When i return to SXM I will definitly stay at the Saphirre Beach again. Might as well! The property has a bar outside, with a one man kareoke band, which really was nice as you could sit out by the pool and listen to some very nice tunes!
Saint Martin is a laid back island with half of the island being Dutch, and half being French.. I rented a jeep for the week so I could tour the entire island on my own. The beaches and water we wonderful. The temperature of the sea was like warm bath water.
Here is a part of the bay. There seemed to be a huge social class differnce on this island. Either the people were wealthy with large homes, or very poor living in little make shift houses with fabric on the windows and doorways. I'm sure not everyone fit into these categories, but thats what I remember.
This is the market on the weekend on the French side. It's kinda like a farmers market here in the states. Fruits, vegitables, flowers....
Another thing I noticed was there seemed to be a lot of stray animals running around. Cats, dogs, chickens, and even goats!