I am seriously thinking of becoming a travel writer. That is, as long as I get to pick and choose where I go and with whom I go! I would so love to write, travel and eat. No wait a minute, that’s travel, eat and write. Hold on. Eat, travel, and write. That’s better.
We were all happy enough to be finally out of the cold Canadian hockey arenas to which we were accustomed, but our day aboard the Taste of the Seas in St. Maarten just got better and better. We were eleven aboard that day in March … this travel writer along with 5 other adults and 5 children ages 10-14. No one wanted the day to end.
Our spirits were initially dampened as we were drizzled with rain showers during our 15-minute walk from our cruise ship to Bobby’s Marina. Waiting 30 minutes for our scheduled vessel, Reel Play, to arrive to the marina didn’t help and it took some time and our own inquiring to confirm that Reel Play, was reely not coming and another boat had been organized. This travel writer was taking some serious notes about lack of service and the skeptics among us started to worry that our day’s excursion was in jeopardy. While our departure was delayed a full hour as a result of this miscommunication, the rain ceased and our hosts, Captain Myles and First Mate Mike (aka Jack Sparrow) ensured our spirits and souls were immediately revived with a delicious and potent rum punch. As the song goes, changes in latitude mean changes in attitude. Yes indeed, 10am never felt so good in a hockey arena. Of course, we knew we were in great hands since Captain Myles was a transplanted Canadian himself. I never did get to meet Bobby.
Cruising for about 45 minutes to our first snorkeling destination, first mate Mike (originally from Yorkshire England but more recently from no fixed address) recounted some first rate local lore, geography and economy along with fascinating personal tales of his cross-Atlantic solo sails. I seriously doubt if any of the stories were true but was not going to risk his spitting in my rum punch. We were well equipped with snorkel gear and noodles which helped me considerably since I jumped in without fins. Hey, no one told me a travel writer also has to be good at snorkeling. In any event, we did not have the cove Captain Myles chose entirely to ourselves, as some scuba divers swam beneath us, but the crowds of other snorkeling destinations we passed along the way were no where to be found, attesting to Myles knowledge of the island and its secrets. So this is where my career as a travel writer really sinks: I know nothing about fish or coral, but they were sure pretty and sure colouful. A warm fresh water shower off the back of the boat relieved us of any salt water discomfort and we were quickly back on the sun deck recounting our underwater adventures…and more rum punch (hic!)
We then cruised back along the coast to the very secluded Mullet’s Bay where Myles anchored as we swam ashore for lunch. No where in the brochure did we read “our guests will enjoy a delightful swim ashore for lunch”, or we probably would have thought twice about booking, but in the end, this turned out to be the highlight of the excursion! Seriously, what’s the opposite of ‘all aboard’? Is it ‘walk the plank’? Or ‘heave-ho’? Maybe that last one is reserved just for me. The crystal clear blue waters and gentle rolling waves were a perfect sequel to our snorkeling adventure and we enjoyed a shaded cabana lunch (paying no attention to the little vermin we thought we saw in the floorboards) alongside stunning sea and sand.
Most reluctantly, we all swam back to our boat, where Mike plied us [adults] with some more rum punch and allowed our teenagers to spend 20 minutes doing spectacular jumps and dives off the boat’s deck followed by sunbathing on the boat’s deck while I drank more rum punch and perfected my pirate snarl.
One in our group seriously hoped to do some fishing while aboard so I seriously hid any fishing rods I came across (just kidding). Nevertheless, St. Maarten aboard the Taste of the Seas is a highly recommended excursion – as is the highly recommended crew. When you go, please say ‘hi’ from the Canucks from Ottawa!
Honestly, someone please hire me to be a travel writer! If you do, I’ll even brush up on my fishes – or fish’s – names. If you send me to Tuktoyaktuk, however, I might have to take a leave of absence. Location. Location. Location.