Watch: Drone Video with Before and After Images of Oyster Pond and Dawn Beach

Everyone who’s visited Saint Martin has their go-to places. Whether it’s a favorite beach, a classic beach bar, or a place you’ve stayed over and over again. For my family, that place was Dawn Beach and Oyster Pond.

My wife and I have been coming to Saint Martin for over 10 years. We celebrated my 40th birthday — and my wife’s 37th, since we have the same birthday — on the island with friends. We brought our first born son to Saint Martin when he was just 8 months old, and again when he was 13 months old.

Many of our stays on the island after we had our two boys were spent on Dawn Beach. We frequently stayed at the Westin. For us it was a perfect location with kids, a fantastic beach, easy parking, plenty of great restaurants within a short drive, and a close location to some of our favorite places in Grand Case.

That’s why seeing video of those areas now really hits home for us. Like most people, we haven’t been back since Hurricane Irma hit and I’m contemplating when the right time to go back will be. This time, however, I’ll likely return sans family since I’ll be going down to help in humanitarian ways, and not for a vacation. It’s a hard concept to swallow, if I’m being completely honest about it.

Going to a place where we’ve made so many amazing memories together as a family, only without them. Make no mistake, I’m not feeling sorry for myself. I guess I’m just getting a little sentimental. And a lot off point. But it’s important to note that these things we struggle with are peanuts compared to what the people of Saint Martin have gone through, and continue to endure, since Hurricane Irma. So if you can give to help, please do.

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

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Jon Ferlise

I fell in love with the island of Saint Martin the first time I visited to celebrate my 40th birthday in May of 2009. Since then, I've spent most birthdays there, and have visited countless other times getting to know this wonderful place and the friendly locals that make it so special. I adore the culture, the people, the community, and the beauty of this stunning island. SXM Strong is a website that I started to support humanitarian relief efforts following Hurricane Irma. There was no plan, it just evolved as I witnessed the devastation that Irma caused the island and the huge need to communicate and disseminate information about what had happened and how people could help support this island and its people.

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