St Martens also known as the Friendly Island is a territory shared by France and the Netherlands and is situated in the Caribbean Islands region. Roughly 87 km 2 in size, and with a big mountain range, everything on this island is cramped into limited pockets of viable land. This island might be small and seemingly in the middle of nowhere but it’s a haven for both holidaymakers, thrill and adrenaline junkies and holidaymakers alike.
It is known as the friendly island because of its popular festive nightlife, beaches, jewelery, locally made drinks and casinos. Princess Juliana International Airport and Maho beach are it’s twin main attractions. Located side by side they combine to give travellers an experience of a lifetime. The airport’s position between a large mountain range and the beach causes some spectacular aircraft airport approaches, landings and takeoffs.
This setup has created an extreme activity for adrenaline junkies as well as thrill seekers. Planes are literary within jumping height of onlookers by the beach when they come in to land.
The real deal though is when the planes takeoff. Because of the mountain range at the other side of the runway, planes have to takeoff facing the range and away from the beach. To achieve a good lift they have to spool up with maximum brakes applied before accelerating down the short runway. The jet blast is so powerful that it literary blows anything behind the aircraft and on the beach. People cling onto the perimeter fence just feel the force of the blast in an activity popularly termed fence surfing. Despite safety warnings from airport authorities, people just cannot resist the surf.
Trust me its not for the faint hearted. I guess since most of these people will be on holiday they would be high on adrenaline from all sorts of things. I guess we all need that crazy moment while on holiday right. There is no age limit here.
As the aircraft spools up, powerful jet blast hits these fence surfers and anyone and anything on its path with such force people and objects are blown into the air and water.
Unfortunately its not without its harzards, as I said before this is an extreme activity and is very risky. Its fun from one angle and dangerous from another and it has claimed lives in the past but people still flock in for the rush.
Despite that gray area, I know its gotten most of curious right?? I mean who would not want to be this close to an aircraft and feel the force of this great piece of engineering.
I will leave you with this video to see all of this in motion. Lets make a date with this place, what do you think guys?