Posted by: rosyroadsadventures | February 6, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI

N 18° 03.77′   W 63° 05.31′

Simpson Bay Lagoon, Marigot, St. Martin

 

Trying to find a place in Marigot to watch the Super Bowl gave us another glimpse of French culture. We and our boat neighbors canvassed the area and came up with the same answer. The Super Bowl is not to be found in Marigot.

The French tell us they are not interested in American football; they follow rugby and soccer. There are no sports bars here. Televisions in dining establishments are felt to detract from the social experience, and most don’t have them or want them. One outdoor café with television had a satellite subscription that did not include the necessary channel. A hotel bar had a broken television and no plans to repair it any time soon. We found an Italian restaurant in Grand Case that was a promising option but not very convenient. We briefly toyed with trying to watch the free streaming video on nbc.com, which miraculously worked for while during the afternoon pre-game show without too many irritating pauses.

We understand that as we tour the Caribbean we can’t expect the world to cater to our traditions. Still, we are curious that in a tourist-oriented destination like St. Martin, obviously struggling with economic challenges, opportunities are missed. There are signs of failed businesses everywhere. One more café in the marina complex closed their doors this week, in what is supposed to be the height of the busy season.

Walking through the restaurant areas we are greeted enthusiastically by the maitre d’s and encouraged to dine with them. All but one, La Tropicana, which seems to be a local favorite, usually have plenty of empty tables. Once we asked one of the more aggressive café managers, who is always on the sidewalks trying to drum up business, about hosting a cruisers get together, similar to those we have attended on the Dutch side. We were surprised that he wasn’t interested in encouraging that kind of clientele. It seemed as if having a big group of English-speaking boaters might detract from the ambiance and scare away the other patrons.

The resounding advice for Super Bowl viewing was to go to the Dutch side. So across the Lagoon we went, to the ESPN Café. It was one of many Dutch-side options, with a large and protected dinghy dock and lots of big screen TV’s. From what we can tell, the Dutch don’t care so much about the Super Bowl either, but they seem to have a good grasp of how to cater to the desires of American tourists.

What an exciting match and half-time show! Well worth the nighttime dinghy trip. We got a free shower on the way home.

Armelle and Lee, huge Patriot's fans, joined us for the fun. The game was probably more enjoyable for us since we didn't have to grit our teeth watching a favorite team lose in a nail-biting finish.

 

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Responses

  1. Glad you found a place to enjoy the game! Just up the road from where you were, the Buccaneers Beach Bar puts up a huge outdoor screen for the game. We were lucky enough to be there last year to see the Packers beat the Steelers! It was so nice to be watching the game outside under palm trees, rather than back home in NY trying to stay warm. As you said, the French side does not make any attempt to draw tourists with the Super Bowl…. Go G-Men!


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