We loved St. Maarten. It's a small little island with super nice locals which we felt completely safe on. When we got off the ship we hopped in a cab and were driven to the dive shop. Once there we signed the typical waivers promising we wouldn't sue them if we died. We put on our wet suits and jumped on a dingy. This was seriously the best scuba diving experience we have ever had. Granted it's not hard to beat 54 degree murky water and extreme seasickness, which was our experience on our last dive in Mexico. The dive masters put all our equipment together and checked everything to make sure it was working properly, and all we had to do was sit back and enjoy the show. This was actually perfect, because I had kind of forgotten how to do anything regarding equipment since it had been a year since we had dove last. The two dive masters also went down into the water with us, which was not the case on our previous dive. It was so great. They knew the area really well and were able to show us things we would have otherwise missed had we been down there by ourselves. Our first dive was a 60ft ship wreck. It was absolutely amazing! First of all, the water was crystal clear. Once we got to the bottom you could look straight up and see the boat perfectly. We also saw some pretty amazing sights.
Just in reference to all these pictures: I am wearing the yellow fins, and Brad is wearing the blue.
I just have to put in a plug for underwater cameras. We bought one for Brad's birthday, and it was seriously the best investment for this trip. There's absolutely no way we would have gotten such good pictures with just a dinky disposable one. If you're planning a trip where you'll be in the water, look into getting an underwater camera case. You won't regret it.
Ginormous lobster. You can't really tell from the picture, but this thing was as big as my whole arm.
I spy a camouflaged fish. Can you?
Our second dive was another 60 footer. This time down to a discarded old bridge. One of our guides said that "in true Caribbean style" when they build a new bridge they just threw the old out into the ocean somewhere. It was really neat, because it had only been down there for a few years but it was already covered with marine life.
On our way back to the ship we stopped at a few beaches and just hung out for a while. It was so nice since we weren't in the real touristy part and no one was on the beaches. We also decided that since this was our last day we would splurge and actually buy lunch on the island (at every other stop if we were hungry we simply went back to the boat, because why pay for something you could get for free?). We stopped at the first little restaurant we saw. It was all outside (except for the kitchen) and there were tons of locals there, so we figured it must be good. And it was DELICIOUS! Three months later I'm still [frequently] thinking about how amazing my grilled chicken and cheese panini was. We also got this wonderful kiwi and strawberry crepe. Yum.
I seriously loved St. Maarten. Brad said it was because of what we did that day, which is probably true. But I certainly wouldn't complain if we ever had to go back.