Last week Irene and I packed up our snorkel gear and headed over to the French Cul-de-Sac where we hopped onto a ferry to sail over to the off-shore island of Pinel Island. While St. Martin may seem like a “getaway” for many visitors, Pinel is a getaway of a getaway. Pinel Island is small, uninhabited, and not too far from the mainland, just right off the coast (and probably swimmable for the triathlete).
Pinel is all about fun. The only things on this little island are a beach, a thatched-roof restaurant and bar, a dock-side restaurant, an outdoor boutique clothing stores, a snorkel area, hiking area, and a magnificent view of St. Martin across the waters. While the island is beautiful, the view from it is even more beautiful.
Irene and I went snorkeling in the clear, warm waters. As the beach is not facing the open ocean directly (but instead facing the channel facing St. Martin), the waves were calm and shallow. The waters around Pinel Island are completely protected by the National Marine Park, and so the water is very clean, and the wildlife is very well preserved. We saw conchs, coral, and colorful fish. We even found an octopus! Afterward, we had fun exploring the rest of the island.
The ferry leaves at every half hour for $7 round-trip. Irene and I caught the 3pm ferry, with the last one bringing visitors back to St. Martin at 4pm. We only had an hour, and it was not enough. But for the little time that we spent on Pinel Island, we enjoyed it.
Here are some pictures from our trip!