Saint Martin day 6: Ilet Pinel and sunset searching on Cupecoy Cliffs

On Thursday we headed to Ilet Pinel, a tiny uninhabited island off of the northeast coast of Saint Martin, not too far from where we are staying. You just go up the road to Cul De Sac and catch the ferry. We never saw a ferry schedule and just assumed it started early. Wrong. In the off season it starts at 10 am. Luckily we got there at 9:30 and didn’t wait too long. It’s only a 5 minute ferry ride and you can even kayak over if you’re so inclined. I wanted to take my DSLR, so the ferry was our best option. When we arrived, the beach was pristine and we had our pick of chairs at Karibuni beach club.  
We set our stuff down and headed for the hiking paths that would take us to all sides of the little island. First we went by the iguana colony. See grandma iguana surrounded by the younglings, even a tiny one to the right of grandma and behind the two juveniles. There were more… So many!

  We hiked over the hill to the Atlantic side beach, which was quite rough.  
Young me would have freaked out here because of the huge amount of broken up coral and shells. Big pieces! Someone constructed an artfully arranged pile on the beach. I still feel the pull to collect my favorite pieces, but it’s not allowed in a nature reserve like Ilet Pinel.

  

We followed the trails to each of the signs and had some great views of Pinel, Saint Martin and the surrounding islands. In this photo you see one of Pinel’s Atlantic side beaches, the thin channel separating it from Saint Martin, and then Saint Martin.   

A little peninsula jutting out from Pinel and Orient Bay of Saint Martin.

  

Pinel had the most lovely beach on the side towards Saint Martin.
After our hike we snorkeled where there used to be an official snorkel trail, but is now abandoned. 

 We had lunch on the beach at Karibuni beach club. Cod fish fritters, pork spring rolls, and a delicious fresh salad. Later I enjoyed a wonderful frozen mojito.  
   

  The last ferry leaves Pinel at 4, so we decided to try to walk along Cupecoy beach to look at the cliffs and see the sunset. We knew the beach would be thin, but apparently when we were there the beach was mostly gone so we ended up walking on the cliffs and settling down for the sunset. The cliffs had wonderfully colorful strata.
  

We enjoyed some wonderful strawberry infused sparkling wine picked up at Bacchus.  

We were able to see the sun near the horizon, but then it was obscured by clouds. Unfortunately the sky did not light up in wonderful colors.

 

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