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Day 5 – Too Much Sunblock

Written By: dawg on May 27, 2009 2 Comments

Adventures in Saint Martin – April 2007

I jumped out of bed at 5:30, well before sunrise. I grabbed the camera and made my way down to the newly identified sunrise photo spot … the Coco Beach rocks. I could tell the sunrise was going to be divine. I began snapping photos when I could tell the sun was just below the horizon, making sure that the large rocks “framed” the picture in the foreground and occasionally used a fill flash to nicely illuminate them. A few people passed by, stopping to wait for me to take a photo, before I motioned them through and thanked them. Just as the sun peeked partially above the water, a woman, MadDam Sunblok, walked right into my picture. Shown below is MadDam Sunblok as she was entering my frame.maddamsunblok

She sat her flip flops down on one of my foreground rocks and stepped to the water’s edge. Situated directly between me and the sun, she started clicking photos, at the same time serving as the ultimate sunblock, SPF 1000, for my camera and me. Actually, I did have a slight sunburn from yesterday, but this level of sunblock is a bit extreme. I just stood there for a minute, stunned that I was apparently invisible to this seemingly rude individual. Not only was MadDam Sunblok ruining my setting, but she was also missing the photogenic beauty of the rocks and the beach in her own snapshots. Although I am rather proficient with Photoshop, I had serious concerns about my ability to remove her silhouette from complete coverage of the main subject. Still in a state of shock, I simply moved 20 feet to the left, allowing one of the large rocks to block Little Miss Picaso (MadDam Sunblok) and her sloppy flops from my images. A more appropriate response might have been to politely offer her a lesson in photography … and manners.

Madam Luvely and Miss Witt heard rumors the night before that a new shipment of Coach purses had just arrived in Philipsburg and they quickly expanded their list of potential gift recipients. I awoke them at 7:45 and prodded them around hastily, allowing us to arrive on Front Street at 9:00 AM. We ate breakfast at a little beach café, watching hoards of people being shuttled off four cruise ships. After breakfast, Madam Luvely and Miss Witt followed their noses in the direction of the Coach Purse shipment and I went back to the ATM for cash to offset this latest female fashion frenzy. By the time I walked back to Front Street, it was filled with a torrential flow of tourists. So I grabbed another Carib (it’s past 12:00 in Holland) and wandered the street, knowing that the ladies would ponder over the purses for hours. When I finally arrived at the infamous Coach store, the attendant from two days ago recognized me and said “Sir, they just left”. I walked up and down Front Street 3 times before finding them, just in the nick of time. They had purchased 3 more purses and were now convinced we needed a Louis Baton suitcase to remedy the problem of not having enough luggage space for the new total of 10 purses. “Who the heck is Louis Baton?” I said. “Louis VVVUUUton”, Miss Witt replied, disappointed with my lack of worldly knowledge. OK, fine, but let’s not jump to conclusions. Our suitcases are expandable and mine was half empty when we arrived. I think we can do without good old L.V. Surprisingly, my confidence as the Supreme Packing Wizard worked and we left Lou behind in Philipsburg.

Back at Orient Beach, the cruise ship crowd had arrived there too, via tour busses, vans and very large “Jeep” type vehicles. It was definitely more crowded than we had seen, but Cedric, our waiter at Kakao, told us it was far from busy. It seemed rather congested to me when I saw the huge line for the bathrooms behind the bar. Instead of waiting, I found other facilities. At any given time, you could see dozens of activities taking place on the water … jet skis, sailboats, etc. A few of the more interesting things we saw were:

  • a Father and two children Parasailing, the Dad’s swimming suit hiked down by the parasail straps, shining a full moon for all of Orient Beach to see.
  • three teenage girls were trying valiantly to learn how to sailboard, pulling the sail up, only to have it fall the other way or themselves falling into the water. I was impressed by their fortitude, two of them stopping in exhaustion after maybe 20 minutes and the third refusing to give up for the entire half hour rental.

As for us, that strange thing called Sand Gravity kicked in and we found ourselves unable to muster enough strength to arise from our ghetto chairs and partake in strenuous physical activities.

Whenever we travel to the beach, we invariable see at least one or more of the Red Zebras … the common human metamorphosis into the striped equine form. Saint Martin was no exception, as we noticed a brightly red and white striped woman in the Alamanda ghetto. Only having personally achieved a partial metamorphosis years ago, I have never fully understood the circumstances that lead to the condition. Therefore, I have devised a few theories on the precise underlying reason. Obviously, this syndrome is caused by a lack of uniformity in the sunscreen application process. First, it could be simple Sunscreen Application Dyslexia (SAD), where the person simply doesn’t comprehend which areas are covered and which are not. The person only knows he/she has performed the task and does not realize that quality coverage is just as important as task completion. The second theory is a spousal (or partner) disinterest problem. More succinctly, the spouse fails to take the job seriously when asked to apply sunscreen to his/her partner. Or perhaps the individual is upset with the partner because of a personal, derogatory remark at breakfast. So they are thrilled with the sunscreen application opportunity as the perfect, passive, yet devious way to get even. devil1 Of course, the third possibility is a combination of the first two … Spousal Sunscreen Application Dyslexia (SSAD). Whatever the case, the Red Zebra metamorphosis is a basic fact of beach life, which can often be very SAD.

For dinner we decided to drive the Sad Little Car up the road to Cafe Plantation, a restaurant in La Plantation Hotel. This gourmet establishment provided good atmosphere, good service, and delicious food.

The Plantation Flavored Rum Shots

The Plantation Flavored Rum Shots

After dessert, we were all served banana flavored Rum shots, including 16 year old Miss Witt. She was skeptical at first, then agreed to a toast with us when Madam Luvely told her it would not be any worse than the cough syrup she was taking a few weeks earlier. Afterward, she said it really wasn’t bad. We suspect she is now secretly enlightening all her friends about how incredibly tasty it was.

Day 5 was filled with pleasant surprises and new experiences, with much more planned for tomorrow.

Note: Story originally posted on Traveltalkonline.com Forums >> St. Maarten – St. Martin

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2 Responses to “Day 5 – Too Much Sunblock”

  1. Judy says on: 28 May 2009 at 11:30 am

    Nice sunrise shot…even with the sunblock lady in it. Looks like a good crop could take care of her!

    • dawg says on: 4 June 2009 at 9:34 am

      Yes Judy, you are right that I could have easily cropped her out of that particular picture. However, I think it helps express the frustration of the moment to leave her annoying little silhouette there.

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