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Pinel Island - March 20, 2022

Pinel has been on my bucket list of areas to check out in St. Martin. It is a small island about half a mile off the coast, accessible by boat ride or kayaking. While I wanted to kayak there, it would have been too great a risk post shoulder dislocation. Fighting the oncoming winds and waves would have been a mistake.

Therefore, I had to take the ferry, which in essence is a small boat for about 30 people. Upon arrival, I was greeted by one of the beach attendants who recognized me right away from having made reservations the night before. After getting situated, I decide to go out an hike the island trails. Pinel itself is a small island, but just the right size to spend a couple hours exploring. Many visitors come for picnics, snorkeling or to spend time on the rugged beaches on the Atlantic side, while most comes for the two beach clubs on the bay side, facing Orient Bay.

The weather in the morning was mostly cloudy with a strong wind coming off the Atlantic. I hiked around the island barefoot, as I always do. At one point, I ended up stepping on a cactus, not having initially realized it; my feet have become so calloused from walking barefoot all the time. After cleaning off my feet, I continued to hike, eventually making it back to the club.

The beach attendants at Yellow Beach have been by far the best out of all the beach clubs that I have visited. They were very friendly and attentive the entire time, truly treating you as friends. The rest of the afternoon, I spent having lunch, wading into the water and napping in the lounge chair. I long for the day when I can start swimming again. However, for the moment, it would put too much stress on my shoulder.

By late afternoon, I decided to check out another side of the island. A stray dog ended up following me, and he and I hiked together. Wherever I went, he followed. Sometimes, he would even lead me places. Aspen has nothing to worry about though; he is irreplaceable.

By the end of the day, it was time to catch the ferry back. Overall, it was a pleasant day.

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