St Maarten/St Martin
14 January 2018 Newsletter

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Cupecoy sunset

Weather: The last few days have been pretty sunny with high temperatures of 81 or 82F. The coming week will be much the same ranging from mostly cloudy to sunny with high temperatures of 81 or 82 and no rain in sight. Sounds pretty good to me. The photo on the right shows the effect of the recent major east coast storm back in the US. That's a shot of Cupecoy looking gray and windy.

The next ten days show a high temperature of 79-80F and an overnight low of 71-73F. Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy but the rest of the week will be partly cloudy with no rain in sight. Sounds good.

The full moon on the first of January was a super moon, ie a moon that appears larger than normal because the moon is closer to earth than usual. In fact, the 1 Jan full moon will be the superest moon for all of 2018. Another weird happenstance occurs when a full moon occurs on the first couple days of a month with the 30/31 days is a blue moon or the second full moon in a month. Pretty strange stuff, especially when you add in a bomb cyclone storm.

Travel:At present Jet Blue is flying from JFK nonstop to SXM. United is not flying from Newark to SXM. I cannot find any flights from Albany (an hour and a half drive from our house) to JFK. This leads to at least three legs and usually four legs to get to SXM from ALB. Most journeys require an overnight someplace. The expense and logistics get even worse when you add a cat. At present we have no reservations and I doubt we will until United resurrects their EWR-SXM nonstop.

Newsletter: WendyK has been sending me some info, especially info about the lowlands where she lives. I'll try to put together an abbreviated newsletter every other week.

Good news: The AUC (med school) is opening on Monday (tomorrow) about four months after hurricane Irma. There will be 150 staff and 400 students.

Baby Beach at Cupecoy A few days after the opening beach shot (above), WendyK returned to baby beach at Cupecoy and found sand for the first time in quite a while. The surf was not as wild but if you look closely at the sand you'll note most of it is moist.

Hotels: Ocean Club sent this out to their members:

"Please be informed that the resort will not be charging 2018 maintenance fees, as I am still dealing with the insurance company as well as an assessment from government. Members who have paid maintenance fees and/or bonus weeks for 2018, will have their monies reimbursed. Please bear with us, as our front desk including credit card machine is completely damaged. However, we will reverse these transactions as soon as the bank can assist us.

We will keep you posted!"

Alcohol: Sylvain at Select Wine Cellar plenty of fine wine, especially Burgundies. He hosts fantastic tastings at your home or at his table in the rare wine room. Moulin Fou is open seven days per week and Sylvain Is the wine steward on weekends.

green logo Nature: On the right is a photo of the sunset over Porto Cupecoy taken from WendyK's waterfront in Cupecoy.

Shopping: I got an email from Vinnie Endless Summer Swimware. He says: The island has been badly devastated. Our main store in Philipsburg was badly damaged and our Simpson Bay location was spared. We have probably lost our high season because all the hotels are badly damaged and the cruise schedule looks bleak. We are keeping our hopes up that things turn around soon. It will be a long road forward but we will get there."

Orient Rebuilding: The original self-named Five Stars of Orient are going to be rebuilt. Building permit applications have been submitted for the rebuilding of Kon Tiki, Kakao, Waikiki, Bikini and Coco. They are talking about building a solid concrete bunker for the kitchen and toilets with bars, restaurants, and boutiques of expendable material. The article has more info on the destruction and reconstruction at Orient, covering much more than just the "stars". It's worth a read.

Small Island story: A friend waited until 10:00 am 31 Dec, not only a Sunday, but the day before a holiday, to go to Super U, the big supermarket in eastern Marigot. She said the security guards were regulating the number of people coming out of the store before they let anyone in; it was so crowded.

WendyK thought it was bad that she had to drive 3 times around the parking lot at ACE last week, then stand in line for 15 minutes to pay for my purchases!


I haven't awarded contest prizes since late June. I know four of these prizes are gone with the wind (or waves) and will not be there to give you a prize. Until this is all sorted out, new prizes will not be awarded.

Current Contest: None is currently scheduled
Lagoon Pub Crawl - two for one ticket
Skipjack's - $50 off a dinner for two
DK Gems - $150 off a $500 purchase
Random Wind - $40 gift certificate
Select Wine Cellar - Wine tasting and a bottle of wine
Piazza Pascal - $50 off dinner for two
Pizza Galley - $25 off on a dinner for two
Ti Coin Créole - $30 off on a dinner for two

Credit Cards and Exchange Rate

On 31 Dec the Euro was at 1.200. Today it's at 1.220. That's down about 0.9% over the last two weeks.

With the Euro still high against the dollar, restaurants doing 1 to 1 become more interesting. It behooves those of us with dollars to check the exchange rate offered by restaurants. For several years French side restaurants have been offering better than market exchange rates, especially for cash. However, if a French side restaurant offers a bad exchange rate, ask for your credit card to be charged in Euros. Assuming you followed my advice below and got a card that has no charge for foreign transactions you will get the wholesale rate on the exchange.


Main a la Pâte

WendyK and a friend went to Main a la Pâte to see George who was the bartender at Dreams on Nettle Bay. Prior to that he had been the manager at La Belle Epoque for over 20 years. The Marina Royale suffered considerable damage as the photo on the left shows. About the only thing left on that side of the marina is the captain's office and it appears to be naturally air-conditioned. Allis not lost as the middle photo shows that someone believes there is a future here as La Creperie Lagon has opened. And of course La Main a la Pâte is in operation. On the right is some tuna tartare with a tasty basket of fries.

Bar Code

WendyK and another friend went to Bar Code in Cupecoy, near the AUC medical school. They suffered a bit during the hurricane but have put it all together just in time for the incoming students. On the left is chili and on the right is another tuna tartare.

News and Changes: We frequently post some dining photos to Facebook. Less frequently we post activities and other things related to SXM or food. If you're interested, I trust you know what to do.


SXM-Info has chosen SkyMed to arrange medical transportation services. We hope you never need it, but when air evacuation flights cost $30,000 or more, it's good to have. Check out their offerings.


Erich S. Kranz
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