Weekends have been relegated to beach days, due to my shoulder injury. So, Saturday, I decided to try out Anse Marcel, tucked away in the far north of the island. At the base of a mountain, the the beach surrounds a small bay, facing north toward Anguilla. Geographically speaking, it is one of the most beautiful areas on the island. The Caribbean Sea is warm and serene, with boats anchored throughout the bay. The beach itself only has one resort on in, mainly with Americans, and a beach club, with a mix of French and Americans.
I arrived early to grab a beach chair at the club. Despite having attempted to make a reservation a couple days prior, there were no chairs available. So I had to wait until the afternoon and spent the morning in the sand. Unfortunately, sitting on the sand began to aggravate my shoulder from the position in which I had to sit. So I walked the beach a bit and later settled back down.
Late morning, two Frenchmen came by and gave me a generally bad vibe. They were older, with long hair and earrings. They asked me if I could keep an eye on their belongings while they swam. Originally assuming to be American, they were surprised to hear me reply in French. However, one of the guys was obnoxious from the start, having initially insulted my French and later proceeding to call me "fragile" over my dislocated shoulder. I ignored them; however, it did prove my suspicion about the French on the Caribbean side of the island. They tend to be from Paris, i.e. horrible. Most of the French whom I have encountered on the island have been laidback, friendly and engaging. However, I have found that on the Caribbean side, they tend to be more obnoxious, haughtier and unfriendly. A friend of mine explained to me that the Caribbean side of Saint-Martin tends to attract Parisians, while the Atlantic side tends to have full-time French residents, mainly from the south of France. It all made sense to me. My experiences on the Caribbean side have never been terribly warm or pleasant, while the Atlantic side has always been great. It is amazing how demographics play out wherever you go.
Finally, the chairs opened up, and I was able to rest my shoulder and eat. The food at Anse Marcel Beach Resort was actually quite good and exactly what I needed. Boats anchored in the bay, and the beach attendants, plagistes, would take a dinghy to fetch them for lunch. The plagistes were very attentive the entire time to the beachgoers. The rest of the afternoon was absolute bliss and made up for a rather unpleasant morning. There was a gentle breeze, ample sun and a calm bay. Families and friends from the nearby residences began to arrive on the public beach with music, sports and snorkeling. It was a little corner of paradise. By 6 PM, the resort began to close, and that marked the end of a rather pleasant afternoon.