Before leaving the lagoon and our spot in the anchorage at the end of the airport runway, I snapped a couple of shots of the biggest plane that lands here regularly. The KLM 747 is well-known by those who haunt Maho beach at the other end of the runway (for it's blast on take-off), but it sure makes a racket as it lands and then takes off directly over our heads as well.
|Just landed and taxi-ing back to the terminal. Makes our little sailboats look teeny!|
|It's amazing how quickly the plane clears overhead on takeoff - hardly time to grab the camera before it is among the clouds.|
|"My Dog is my Co-Pirate" - and this furry fellow loved his dinghy rides!|
|The outgoing parade past the bridge - all the while being urged to "move along" by the bridge operator.|
|Do not hang your butt out into the channel or you will very quickly have a visitor.|
From the lagoon to Great Bay at Philipsburg is only five miles but in that distance we were treated to quite a display of boats out enjoying the 'fresh' breezes - it was blowing well over 20 knots and the seas were running about 6-8'. The camera always flattens the waves.
|The Island Water World team was out practicing - right after I took this they actually flew one hull out of the water.|
|This gives an idea of the size of the waves.|
|Hang on - this could be a wet ride!|
|Quite exhilarating to watch these boats in action.|
|A hull-model of Canada 1 - showing what lies below the waterline to keep all that sail and rig upright.|
Philipsburg is the main town on the Dutch side of the island and the main business down here is operating as a cruise port. At the moment there has only been one cruise ship a day but the docks here, as in Charlotte Amalie, can accommodate many of these behemoths a day in high season. The unique aspect of Philipsburg is that the entire waterfront is a broad sandy beach lined with a wide boardwalk and various bars and restaurants. All of the harbour operations are relegated to the eastern edge of the bay which is where we sit in the marina.
|Little Mowzer at the dock, massive cruise ship in the background.|
|Our view of Philipsburg and the beach.|
Today, Saturday, we headed out for a walk in search of some foam to soften up our 'hard-as-rock' cockpit cushions. We set off before the cruise ship passengers had disembarked which meant that for the first part of our walk along the waterfront we enjoyed a hassle-free stroll, as the vendors were just getting set up at the early hour. Later in the day, expect entreaties to 'buy', 'eat', 'drink', or 'ride'. One fellow asked us if we wanted a ride to visit one of the famous beaches which we politely declined. On our return, he remembered us and immediately put down his placard, commenting to us that we weren't from the ship - we had a good laugh with him over not needing his services to get to the hardware store.
|The marina has a Venetian feeling with this bridge over a little canal that leads to the dinghy dock.|
|The eastern end of the beach fringed with palm trees and cafes.|
|There are very few dogs wandering around P'burg, this one was a regular we've met up with a number of times now.|
|The beach, before all the chairs and umbrellas have been set up for the day.|
|For men: drink this and you'll look like this guy?|
For women: drink this and you'll be attractive to guys like this?
|For men: drink this and you'll ...???|
For women: drink this and you'll get what you've always wanted to try? oh my!