We finally got out on the water on Saturday, November 7, with a group of 18 adults and older children who kayaked out of Simpson Bay Lagoon, Sint Maarten, and into the sunset. The waters in and around Sint Maarten were gorgeous! Kayaking out with the sunset was serene as the sun’s hues deepened above our heads, while kayaking back to the beach offered a good workout. The group was accompanied by two EPIC volunteers and two guides from the kayak rental, Tri-Sport.
The event raised $410 towards relaunching of EPIC’s sewage pump-out boat, “Slurpy,” in Simpson Bay Lagoon as part of the Love the Lagoon project. Slurpy was damaged in hurricane Irma in September 2017 and requires approximately $4,000 in repairs. Despite Covid-19, the Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association and the Marine Trades Association are expecting ‘normal’ levels of visiting boats to sail into Sint Maarten this high season which runs from November onwards. Most of these vessels enter Simspon Bay Lagoon and anchor, so it is essential that Slurpy can resume pump-out services to prevent pollution. Donations are still being accepted online. You can donate here.
EPIC Sint Maarten had been planning the fundraising moonlit kayak event for the full moon in August, but COVID-19 restrictions delayed that event. As the hurricane season passed, we began planning again for a full moon kayak trip on Halloween. What could be better? Masks were mandatory, and the scarier the better, and the event was quickly fully booked. But in a year of struggles, hosting this event was not going to be easy the second time around either. The wind picked up and the day before Halloween a weather advisory against small ships sailing was issued forcing us to postpone the event…again. Undeterred, we altered the full-moon event to a sunset kayak the following Saturday and although we did not get quite the number of participants that Halloween had attracted, we had a good turnout.
Based on feedback, EPIC is planning a full moon kayak in the new year that will paddle into the Lagoon and gather at the Causeway Bridge for a beverage before paddling back to the beach. If you want to attend and keep informed about events on Sint Maarten, email firstname.lastname@example.org.