Ben in the Dutch Colony

Hi all,

Greetings from St. Maarten. I am in Ellington’s/Crows Nest at the very top of the ship. There are only 6-8 people on the whole floor. The ship has many places where one can go for relaxation. This is one of them. There is jazz music playing at a very soothing volume. The bar is not open. I have my computer set-up right at the bar, admiring 180 degree views of St. Maarten.

Wow, what incredible port days. I will say right now that my feet are sore. I did a lot of walking at both St. Thomas and here. I also took advantage of the “Safari” bus on each island. The Safari is the way that the black islanders commute around the islands. It is very local style with many different languages being spoken. I don’t understand anything be said but I just nod and say OK. I had some guardian angels along the way who nodded and showed me the way. I am very thankful for them and their kindness.

It just started to squall. These single cloud downpours consist of a lot of rainfall concentrated in a micro area. I got stuck in one in a big way yesterday. I was walking the ½ mile from Coki Beach to where I was to pick up my Jitney. It started off as some sprinkles and became torrential in a matter of moments. I put my camera under my t-shirt and hoped for the best. The rains continued for another 15 minutes an I was as soaked as you could possibly. I then caught my Jitney for the 45 minute ride back into Charlotte St Amalie. The Jitneys are efficient little transport machines. They are built on the body of a dually truck bed. They have 5 rows of seats that hold around 5 passengers. When it comes, you hop on and in my case, let the driver know where you are going. As you depart, you hand the driver a dollar and you are on your way. I was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I got into it. I was by far the only white boy on every trip I took. Taxi Fares run from $10-20 anywhere you go. I was pretty proud of my $4.00 transportation cost. In addition, I witnessed and observed many fascinating people and places.

I must also mention the Paradise restaurant where I was able to do a bunch of Internet and email work. They also had phone service that you could rent. I imagine they were using VOIP protocol. The cost was just $5.00 per 2 hour period. You could call anywhere you wanted in the US. I tried you guys but unfortunately you were not there. The guy even gave me my $5 because I was unable to reach you. St Maarten is a different story. The phone is $2 a minute in this Dutch Colony. I figured I would wait until I got back to Florida on Sunday morning.

I hope Halloween festivities are in full swing. Be sure to take pictures. I have been taking a lot. I downloaded the G2 manual so I learning more about the camera.

Love to all,
More manana,
Love and Hugs, Dad / Ben
Ben Bajak
Cruise Counselor/OwnerCruise Holidays of Mission Viejo
949-215-6700 888-203-3012

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