The first time I visited St Maarten, the beautiful island in the Caribbean was back in November 2000. I was on a photo assignment filming a flight to SXM from ORY on AOM’s DC-10 F-GHOI.
Unfortunately we only had 24 hours on the island during the layover. 24 hours isn’t much if you just landed at SXM, believe me. Like so many others I had seen the great shots from the approach over the beach. I just knew I had to have that shot before flying back home again.
We touched down at 18:42 (z), taxied to our parking stand and shut down the engines. The passengers disembarked the aircraft and the crew prepared to leave. As we got down the stairs the new crew met us, they were flying the aircraft back to Paris.
I now realised that the big, thick winter jacket I was wearing back home in Sweden was totally unnecessary here. Warm winds blew through my hair and the sun was shining from a blue sky with only few clouds on it. As always I carry too much stuff when I’m on an assignment, now I had to bring the big jacket around. Arghh….
The crew transport took us across the bay to a nice little resort on the French side of the island. Half of St Maarten belongs to The Netherlands, and half of St Martin belongs to France. That’s why you can find two ways of spelling the name.
Once installed in my room, it was time for dinner. The crew and I met up in the bar, which was located almost on the beach. Lovely view! Fantastic place.
As it was such a short stopover, I decided to hit bed early so I wouldn’t turn my internal clock over.
Woke up next morning and enjoyed a marvellous breakfast on the patio with a view over the lagoon and beach. The sun reflecting on the white sand and in the waves…. A great day!
I rented a scooter and brought my camera bag and drove off to the airport. Time for some serious photography! Spent some time driving around the field on all small roads and paths I could find, in search for a new vantage point.
Yes, I wanted the famous beach shot, but I always like to return with some exclusive shots that stand out from the rest. I found some spots but there was little traffic so I headed for Maho Beach. Yes, that’s the beach.
I discovered the SunsetBeachBar which wasn’t open yet, but it had a great location. Right at the beach with a perfect view of the beach and approach. I sat there for a while and watched the arrivals come in over the beach and touch down. Most arrivals where small aircraft, twin otters, Dash-8’s and Dc-9’s. Still it looked good with that blue water….