This small island is 3 km northwest from St. Martin. It means relaxation for us, a break from working days when we were able to sail from Marigot one weekend.
Tintamarre is a wild island today, free of any construction and commercial facilities. In the early 1900s about 150 people lived on this island. Tintamarre was formerly inhabited by a Dutchman, who established a small business around cotton culture, sheep farming, and furthermore, making butter and cheese which were sold all over the West Indies.
Tintamarre also served as an air base for a small company. A 500-meter long dirt track was built to insure flights between the neighbouring islands. The small clear water lagoon of Tintamarre served as a base for seaplanes. Unfortunately, following some air accidents, the base closed its doors in 1947.
The few hurricanes that have hit Saint-Martin and its surroundings ever since gradually erase the traces of this activity. Tintamarre island is today part of the Natural Reserve of Saint-Martin.
Nowadays, the beaches and the mud baths are the attraction for most visitors.
Later it became a popular destination for tourists and visitors from nearby islands looking for a peaceful getaway. Buoys were scattered around in the turquoise lagoon for boats to moor at; like in many other places, it is forbidden to drop your anchor directly onto the seabed minimizing damage to the sea flora.
The underwater world is breathtaking; on the shore you can find benches, picnic tables and firepits awaiting the visitors of this privately held island. There are awareness building signs hanging on trees and bushes to draw attention to environmental protection.
It had been our dream to swim with turtles in their natural habitat. This dream came true here, what’s more, after the turtles, some rays appeared scanning the seabed. On the shore we could observe different kinds of stunning seabirds and lizards, and identified footprints in the sand. One evening we fried fish with our Polish friends, Bartek and Anja. The four children were playing around on the beach and around the fire in the meantime. The sun went down relatively early, around 6.30, and the stars lit up above us in the sky.