We happened upon the Marigot cemetery and decided to take a look.
It was very interesting! There was really no rhyme or reason to the grave site placement or structure. It looked like there was probably not a caretaker - there were weeds, old plastic flower arrangements and candle containers all over. I believe that each family was responsible for taking care of their own grave sites. These graves were just two mounds of dirt surrounded by conch shells.
This grave at one time would have been quite nice with blue and white tiles - but has been completely overtaken by weeds. We couldn't even see any dates on many of the graves.
I could not make sense of this grave. There was obviously a wooden cross atop the headstone but it had a t-shirt and towel wrapped around it. At the base was a bunch of old candles, water bottles and broken bottles of alcohol.
Most of the graves were above ground (possibly due to the fact that it was built on a sandbar). And many of the graves looked like they held more than one body.
There were just empty holes lined with cinder blocks - and painted?
There were some that really stood out because they were obviously cared for.
We eventually did do a little shopping and then met up with David and Alena to ferry back to the boat. Time to pull up the anchor and set sail! Here are Wes and Matt helping with the anchor - this became one of their regular duties.
Alena worked so hard cooking and cleaning! We felt really bad having her clean up after us and felt like we should at least help do the dishes! But no - they wouldn't allow it. It was our vacation and they wanted us to relax. We kept saying over and over again how wonderful it felt to have someone plan the meals, prepare the meals, set the table, serve the meals (dinner was always a 3 course meal) and then clean up!!! We were in heaven and told Alena how grateful we were - we knew exactly how hard her job was!
She was amazing!
We followed David's orders and did as we were told - we relaxed!
We motored out of the bay and unfurled the sails!! Even though we could always maneuver using the two propellers - it was exhilarating when we were sailing! Sailing from one location to another often involves "tacking." It is very rare for the winds to be blowing in exactly the direction you want to go - so you have to sail at a 45 degree angle to the wind and then travel in a zig, zagging fashion, back and forth until your destination is reached. This is called "tacking." We tacked back and forth from St. Martin to Anguilla (we even spotted Blowing Point - where our ferry landed the first day we arrived), back to St. Martin and then to an uninhabited island called Tintemarre - only about 1/2 mile across. It had a beautiful white sandy beach with turquoise water - pretty as a picture!
We found our way to shore using the inflatable kayak, the one person kayak, the long boards and of course - Jason just swam. We played in the waves until our swimsuits were filled with about 1/2 pound of sand and then decided to explore the island. We spotted this iguana.
And a colony of large hermit crabs.
Some people brought snorkeling gear and decided to check out a shipwreck just offshore.
Wes said it was kind of spooky because there were a couple of suitcases in the boat.
Most of this beach was covered with chunks of coral - in many different intricate patterns (you can see it at our feet). I didn't bring my snorkel gear so I spent the time beach combing to find the perfect pieces of coral to bring home. There was also some cool pieces of fan coral.
As we hiked back to the original beach Wes, Matt, Scharman and I decided to follow a small trail leading into some trees. We discovered the remains of some sort of campsite where people had been collecting and eating the mollusks that inhabit the giant conch shells. There was a shell washing station, a cooker, tables and chairs, tarp remnants, a couple of make-shift water bottle rain catchers hanging from the trees and tons, and tons of shells. There were shells - some in perfect condition, some in fragments - everywhere! Huge ones!! It was so bizarre! We called it the Conch Village. Wes took a bit of footage below:
We headed back to the trail as Wes took a different route. He told us later that he found remnants of another dwelling - a cinder block building with old decaying mattresses and broken furniture. All of a sudden he heard a sound outside and found 5 goats! They actually followed him for a little ways. Again - very strange!
Anyway - we made it back to the boat just in time! The wind and the waves had really picked up. David pulled anchor and set sail for calmer waters.
We brought back the largest conch from the conch village to show the others.
This is where David would stand each day as he would review the options for the day. We loved not only having a private boat and chef, but having a private tour guide who knew the territory and helped us plan the perfect day! Thanks David!
We anchored that evening in a bay off St. Martin called Grand Case. We enjoyed a lovely dinner, learned another fun card game called Knock and, as always, ended the day with great conversation.
-Pate and watermelon
-No shoes/No sand on the boat!
-Nice warm freshwater hose...ahhhh!