Îlet de Pinel
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Resting after some snorkelling and hiking, Pinel Island, St Martin
A cheap and fast tourist boat takes you from "mainland" St Martin to Pinel Island. It's a great place for some quiet beach time, lazy hiking, and snorkelling. Come early in the mornings (9am-ish...remember, it is an island, and departure times are not really "official") and grab a spot at one of the few food and beverage purveyors (a bit pricey). Or get the best beach spots - free of charge.
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Lobster on the beach
We never go for the overpriced meals offered on Caribbean beaches, but during a trip to Saint-Martin, with mobility limited due to illness I needed a treat. So, while my wife happily snorkeled around this charming preserve/tourist trap slightly offshore from Cul de Sac on the French side, I ordered a lobster dinner. At least I knew it would be fresh, because the lobsters were kept in a cage at water's edge. The quality was a pleasant surprise, only slightly overgrilled and served with a fresh salad and standard-issue fries. This is a great little day trip, made more fun if you can walk around and snorkel. There's a slightly scary ride on a creaky launch each way, but the water's not very deep and some people choose to swim, or you can rent kayaks.
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