Sahlman Blog Series: Post 3 – The Camera is Not Big Enough — Part 2

This is the third post in a series by author Susi Sahlman. This post was originally published on Susi’s blog, Sahlman Art Blog. You can check our her beautiful St. Martin themed original artwork here

December 9, 2017 – From the parking area of Orient Beach heading in Pedro’s direction, only the shell of the pay toilets remains, looking almost intact even. It was so odd to see grapevine leaves sprouting from the cutout in the floor where a whole tree used to be. They had built Pedro’s around it. The stairs leading to the water are also still standing.

The building was perched on a mound surrounded by a rock buttress. All the sand has washed out leaving the rocks to block the path toward Club O. The same thing has happened on Club Os property. The beach line is now beyond where the Perch once stood. Wine among all the ruin, happy visitors enjoyed lounge chairs without umbrellas and an opportunity for drink and food at the Light Perch. Though limited, guests enjoyed the day and enjoyed meeting new friends.

Photo via Susi Sahlman

We explored the area and headed toward Papagaio’s. It looked like all will have to come down. There is nothing salvageable on the entire property. Buildings have moved from their foundations. Foundations have been undermined. A broken dish, refrigerator, lamp, a stereo; these strewn about or half-buried. It was strange to be able to see the open sea beyond. From the former Water Sport St. Barth is now visible.

We continued walking where the path was once clear and now all completely open, reaching the rock wall. This divided Orient Beach and Le Galion Beach in the distance. There is no wall, only piles of rubble. I wondered how long that wall had stood. It was no match for Irma.

Turning back we spied something in the bramble behind the water sport slab. It was a wrecked boat that had been located on the jagged rocky coast of the open sea side at the end of Orient Beach. Many of us used to hike across the ridge to take pictures with it, now tossed again to a new spot.

Back at the Light Perch we shared a nice lunch and had a much needed nap on the beach. Within all the sadness there was still the hope of what will be. It seems wherever people get together, goodness, joy and even celebration can come.

Please help rebuild SXM and give today. Click here to visit the SXM Strong donate page.

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Susi Sahlman

An artist and blogger, Susi has a passion for the island of Saint Martin. She's been visiting the island with her husband Bill for 21 years. You can follow her blog at and see her artwork at

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