These are the flags of St. Maarten, both the Dutch and the French. What a wonderful island of mixed cultures!
Before sailing in the Leeward Islands last spring, I had never visited any countries of Dutch or French influence (other than Montreal and Quebec City, Canada), and I was pleasantly surprised by the courtesy and friendliness shown to tourists. In no way did I feel “foreign” except when I attempted to remember how to converse en Francais!
Although this photo is 30 years old, it’s an iconic view of Lands End (Lovers Beach)-Cabo San Lucas.
I remember the feeling I had when I first saw that landmark, after five days of sailing without landfall from Bahia Tortuga. The story of how I got to Bahia Tortuga can be read here. I was in my mid twenties, and had never been on a boat longer than an overnight jaunt to Put in Bay, in Lake Erie. Being part of a four man crew with no GPS and no autopilot meant spending cold nights on watch, pushing forward toward our goal of Cabo San Lucas.
The following seas were so high I thought they would swamp us. The wind swirled around and stole a few of our boat cushions when we weren’t paying attention. We would lean forward to adjust the sail, and whoosh-the cushion flew away and into the night sea! Rookie mistake? Yes. Another lesson learned! And once at our destination, we had the most spectacular view of Lands End and the not-yet developed outer harbor of Cabo San Lucas.