December 28 2011
We own a Contender, a 37ft fishing boat bought from the States. It is built for leisure rather than fishing and you can easily fit six to eight people on it and still be comfortable. It goes very fast if you want it to as it has three 350 horsepower engines. We take the boat out as often as possible and when the weather allows it, and today it really did.
Strangely enough, St Barths residents often go to Pinel, a small island outside St Maarten, for lunch, even though there are at least 16 similar (or even better) restaurants here on the island. The reason for us all going is surely the trip over there. It’s 30 minutes of beautiful sailing, and on our way over today we made a stop at the tiny island of Tintamarre for some rest (whatever that means in this constant state of relaxation), sunbathing, and a beer.
You need to make a booking at the restaurant we went to, and even though we had made a reservation and arrived on time, the owner begged us to have patience as they were so busy. Luckily, we have a lot of patience and were eventually picked up by the restaurant staff in a small dinghy. After a warm welcome and sitting down at our table, we were ignored by the busy staff for at least 15 minutes – giving me time to study my fellow lunch guests in peace.
Is it only me, or is going to lunch half naked just a bit too much? The couple sitting at the table next to us were wearing nothing but G-string swimming trunks (the guy did not have the figure to carry it off, I might add). They behaved as if it was the most natural thing in the world to sit there and flaunt their stuff while surrounded by strangers having their lunch, but even though the beach is just a few metres away and I wouldn’t react to their outfits there, it is still strange to me to not put something on when leaving the beach to go to a restaurant. After being told off by my wife to stop being annoyed over the lack of clothing at our neighbouring table and get on with it, we had a great meal before heading back to St Barths.
After all the guests had been dropped off at our boats, most of us having had wine, rum punch and what have you with our meals, a very entertaining scenario started. It was like something from a BBC programme about remarkable animal behaviour. Why is it that when people have had a few drinks, we feel the need to entertain others – and not only our friends on our boat; the bigger audience the better! With music being blasted from lots of different boats by people wanting to be seen and heard, we sailed back to St Barths looking at a fantastic sunset, and by the time we arrived in the harbour all the yachts were back in their places. Not having finished the bottle of champagne we had opened on our way back, I asked Oliver, the caretaker of the boat, if he would like it, and his reply was, “Of course, I’m French!”
Another lovely day has almost passed, but I won’t call it a day before I’ve had my dinner!