This favourite Sicilian restaurant along the Simpson Bay strip is proving that it has what it takes to be there for everyone. Open for lunch and dinner, it is offering the usual fabulous fare. You can sit in the air-conditioning or on the terrace and enjoy excellent chilled wine with your meal or you can pre-order your takeout.

Sale n Pepe is a little different to other restaurants in that a lot of their delicious food is displayed in the chilled glass cases. You can choose something to add to your order from the menu, you can mix and match, and you can ask if they can put something together just for you – and they will. It is fantastic!

Look at the dishes on display for instance; you like octopus but would like it with boiled potato as a salad – no problem. You like the eggplant and would like it as a side to your roast chicken – no problem. You have never yet tasted the small silver fish and would like to try that along with some of the other foods – no problem. You can also order a platter of anti-pasta, and then a main course – and the desserts are absolutely delicious.

Consider yourself very lucky if you are there, because a tray of the most incredible light and airy hot rolls comes from the kitchen; these are served as a side with their home-made chili jams.

Sale n Pepe is fantastic!

Having a meal there is wonderfully relaxing – a little bit of Europe on St. Maarten. At the moment, you see the marines going about helping other areas on island clean up and get back to normal, busy up and down the road. Other St. Maarten residents pop in and out getting their take-out, greeting those sitting at the tables. This is a friendly and fun place to be! Everything is up and running after all the chaos. It is a good choice for a night out.

When was the last time you had a really big turn up? It feels like forever since the island has had a genuinely good reason to let loose. Thanks to the powers that be, your weekend at Presidente is about to be 100 times better! This Sunday, October 22, starting at 2:00pm and running until 11:00pm, Presidente presents the “We Jammin’ Still” Benefit Concert at Buccaneer Beach Bar.


Headlined by none other than the 2017 Trinidad & Tobago Road March champions, Ultimate Rejects, this is the second in a series of Presidente Music festivals, and will feature many of your favourite local artists. If you haven’t heard their award winning hit song, Full Extreme, then run, don’t walk, to listen to the power soca song now.


The line-up will also include performances by King Vers, King James, King Rumer, and DJ Blaze, DJ EM, DJ Vybz, DJ Lil R and MC SoHype, Trilogy out of St. Maarten, Exodus HD from Anguilla. Entrance is completely FREE. All Presidente asks is that you come, buy drinks and food, and consume them responsibly.


Don’t mistake this for your average concert; this jam is to support the locals. There will be booths set up all along the Beach at Kim Sha manned by We Can Give Foundation alongside, St. Maarten Youth Brigade, Red Cross and K1 Britannia. Representatives from the foundations will be there to collect any kind of donations, whether it is money, clothing, food or drinking supplies, which will be distributed to various locations on the island.


Don’t be the only one to come with your arms swinging; bring items for donation and make this one of the most LIT benefit concerts ever. You can thank Kalaboom Events, We Can Give Foundation, Buccaneer Beach Bar, and Presidente for coordinating this concert.


As if FREE entrance to this epic event couldn’t be any better, Presidente will be giving away an all-expense paid trip for two to travel to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Make sure you get there early to collect your wrist band for a chance to go to the November 3-6 Presidente Festival featuring world renowned artists, including Justin Timberlake, Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias, J Balvin and Maluma.


Proceeds of Presidente beer sold during this event will be donated to the various foundations that have been on the ground working hard and providing much needed hurricane relief to the communities throughout St. Maarten. This is every drinker’s fantasy – every Presidente you have on that day is going toward the betterment of the people of St. Maarten; you’re literally drinking for a good cause. So make sure anything you drink on Sunday is a Presidente!


Parking is LIMITED, so please remember to carpool with friends to help the environment and ensure you’ll find parking space. Once the party ends at 11:00pm, head on over to Soggy Dollar Bar for the official after party! Thanks to Buccaneer Beach Bar, Port de Plaisance, VIP Security, Quality Sweepers and the VKS for contributing to this event and making it possible.

St. Maarten, you deserve this. Come out and celebrate life with Presidente! Want more information? Check out the Facebook page, CC1SXM!


Sonesta Maho Group will launch its new entertainment concept in September. The person behind it all is Shep Shephard, Director of Entertainment for Maho Group. He tells us about himself and his plans for entertainment.

Who is Shep Shepherd?

“I’m a professional, creative, and working internationally within the Art and Entertainment industry with a broad experience in entertainment creation, theatrical production and special events. I’m a creative thinker, a passionate and extremely driven individual; I’m also a karma farmer. I strongly believe in doing what you can for who you can whenever you get the chance.”

Where are you from and how did you end up on the Friendly Island?

“I was born in the Potteries, the heart of England, in 1983 to fireman Malcolm and nurse Sandra. In March 2016, I was approached by the Maho Group to join the company and head up their entertainment operation. I moved to the Island in August and have been here since.”


“I studied performance at Bretton Hall College of Art in West Yorkshire before going on to complete a Master’s Degree at Kings School in London. I originally trained as an actor, but gradually broadened my interests to include the wider aspects of production. Whilst studying, I became known for staging unique events and live performance. Since then my work has taken me around the world, working in theatres, art centres, cruise ships and resort concepts.”

Tell us about your job at Sonesta Maho?

“I joined Sonesta Resorts St. Maarten in August 2016 to oversee the Entertainment Operation at that time. I was approached by the Vice President of Resort Operations… In November the owners invited me to design and deliver a brand-new entertainment concept for Maho Group, spanning Sonesta Resorts, The Maho Village and The Casino Royale Theatre.”

Tell us about your experience in this field?

“I was always an entertainer and loved centre stage… I’ve played for lots of large audiences over the years as a Cruise Director, Compere, Radio Host and interviewer. There’ve been many personal highlights, but professionally speaking, it would be interviewing World Champion Sports Stars and Academy Awards-winning artists… Working at Yorkshire Sculpture Park where I was exposed to many incredible international artists and influential mentors, shaped me as a creative thinker.”

Tell us about the new shows?

“We’re currently developing our brand-new shows for the big launch in September, and it’s really exciting. For the high season we will have three brand-new spectacular productions, featuring aerial artists, acrobats, world champion dancers and vocalists. There will be three shows weekly on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturday, all at 10:00pm in Casino Royale Theatre. Presently we have two temporary shows running, MJ The Experience on Wednesdays and Dances of The World on Fridays, right after the Maho Village Carnival. In addition to this, of course, we have performances across Great Bay, Ocean Point and Maho Beach Resorts… One thing that I’ve been very clear about in building the new content is that we want the shows to be as appealing and accessible to as wide an audience as possible. We’re investing huge amounts of time, money and effort to build shows that don’t just draw people to Maho Village, but to the Island of St. Maarten.”

What do you like about your job?

“I love the creative process. It’s exciting and stimulating and there’s never two days the same. As I get older I also really enjoy watching younger people develop as performers, it can be really rewarding to invest time and effort in people and see them grow.

Also, you get to meet so many interesting people I hear some really great stories.”

What’s your personal management style?

“My door is always open and I try and listen as much as I can. I’m very strict, but at the same time fair and work hard to highlight people’s strengths so as to empower them to grow. I’m very much “you get out what you put in.”

What differentiates you from other persons in a similar profession?

“From the start of my career it’s been very important to me to gain the broadest experience possible from the industry. I’ve developed a wealth of knowledge from hands on experience, some exceptional mentors and always pushing myself to keep learning.

Critically I’ve never been afraid of challenging the status quo, risking new ideas or taking chances. This is what being a true creative is about, not repeating old formulas. You can’t be afraid of failure either. The person who doesn’t make mistakes is unlikely to make anything at all”.

Challenges in the field?

“People who are afraid of change or who fail to see the bigger picture.”

Message for youngsters who want to follow in your professional path?

“Listen, learn and pick great mentors. My Dad always told me: “if you can’t learn from the person next to you it’s your fault not theirs.” I really believe in this sentiment and it’s always served me well. The more you practice the luckier you get so never give up. Be yourself, be bold, make lots of mistakes and learn from them - everyone is a lesson.”

What else are you involved in outside of work?

“There’s an outside of work - what is this place?

Pet peeve?

“Laziness and negativity, get on board or get outta the way. Life’s too short!”

Also people who say “we’ve always done it like this.”


Music… walking the dogs really relaxes me and playing with Lego too. I’m basically a massive child. I’m passionate about all visual arts so I love galleries, the theatre, cinema and festivals etc.”

What’s your favourite type of music – what artistes do you listen to?

“As I mentioned I really enjoy all genres of music but especially soul and motown, swing and great pop music… There’s always lots of Sinatra playing in my house.

If you could ask any three persons (dead or alive) to a dinner party who would they be and what would you cook for them?

“Frank Sinatra, he changed the face of popular music and politics for several generations and was an incredible story teller. Robin Williams, one of my all-time favourite comedic performers - he’s a million guests in one. And Barack Obama, I think he’s been one of the most inspirational leaders of modern times and we need him back. We’re going to order in Chinese so I can focus on pouring the drinks and picking the music.”

Finding perfection in imperfection

Martine Loubser did not have what many would call a conventional upbringing. For the first fifteen years of her life, she lived on a 44-foot boat with her parents and older brother. Yet, for Martine this was her ‘normal’ and included driving a dinghy to school and sailing from island to island during school vacations.

She accredits her creative drive to her mom, who till today loves anything that requires innovation and creativity.  “My mother, brother and I were always making something. “Sure living on a boat means that you should utilize everything you can, but getting creative was also our form of entertainment”

After high school, Martine followed her passion and graduated with a degree in Illustration from Arts University Bournemouth. Today she is freelancing as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator on Sint Maarten, figuring out her next step into exploring the arts.

Why do you think art is important?

Ha-ha, this is a hard question! I think art means different things to different people, but it definitely serves as a way to connect us. Art brings people together and allows us to share and exchange things about ourselves, our values, and our thoughts. It’s a reflection of our humanity, and I think expressing that is really important.

When did you decide to make art your career?

It took me a while to make that choice. After high school, I did not really know what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to do something I loved. Art is often not really seen as a ‘feasible’ career option, so I hesitated on following that route.

Instead, I worked for two years in the yachting industry, in a position that was not creative at all. I think it gave me the understanding that being creative is an integral part of who I am. So I looked into art-based programs and applied to The Arts University of Bournemouth.

What was the most valuable skill you learned during your art studies?

Problem, solving! I had pictured going to art school and learning to use tools and techniques, but it actually focused more on the ‘why’ and less on the ‘how’. It was great. I did not just learn how to ‘problem solve’ in art, but I think many of the processes we went through could really be applied to many aspects of life.

What kind of art inspires you?

There are so many! I love loose, evocative sketches with a lot of movement, like those by Toulouse-Lautrec or Valentin Serov, but I also love the simplicity and humour in the work of an artist like Jean Julien. I think what’s most inspiring is passion, in whatever form. If art makes me feel the passion experienced by the person who created it, it inspires me.

Why do you like ‘creating’?

Most of the time, I have a chaos of thoughts in my head. When I create, it allows me to organize and express them by creating something tangible; a drawing or sculpture maybe.

It is like therapy and a pure expression of myself. The product usually doesn’t end up the way I initially planned it, but that’s the best part. I think I would describe myself as a perfectionist, but art has taught me that perfection actually lies in imperfection! I love that.

I have seen a lot of your drawings, is that what you specialize in?

I do love drawing and it is a comfortable means of expression for me, but actually, I have used a lot of different techniques during my art career, and hope to use many more. At the moment I am very into film, so it would be great to explore my next project through that medium.

How would you describe yourself as an artist?

I think I am still on a journey of really finding my ‘signature’ as an artist, but whatever I do, I’d want it to have positive effects on others.

Lately, I’ve been exploring the notion that we all regularly experience loneliness, doubt, and disappointment, but we often only want to expose the best of ourselves. This isn’t a bad thing, but I think it would be great if we were more comfortable with showing weakness as well. I think if this happened, it would be easier to support and understand one another. Maybe I could create something about that.


You can invite three people over for dinner. Who are they? What will you serve them? What will you discuss?

So many choices! Maybe Vincent Van Gogh, Emily Dickinson and Franz Kafka. It would be like a surprise party - we’d have cake and champagne, and I’d get to tell them how hugely celebrated and influential their work became after they passed away.

Check out Martine’s art out at

Hi, my name is Desiree Winkel, owner and founder of Fitness Coaching. I’ve been working for years in my own personal training studio with clients who like to get fit and healthy, and even those who are in pain. My clients love to train in a cosy, clean, and absolutely friendly atmosphere. Follow what we do on Facebook.

Hi, my name is Desiree Winkel, owner and founder of Fitness Coaching. I’ve been working for years in my own personal training studio with clients who like to get fit and healthy, and even those who are in pain. My clients love to train in a cosy, clean, and absolutely friendly atmosphere. Follow what we do on Facebook.

Making flowers

These flowers are quick to make.

What you’ll need:

  • Pastel-coloured tissue paper (you can find sheets of this paper at the Dollar Store).
  • Chenille stem
  • Scissors
  • Ruler


  • Cut tissue paper into rectangles of desired size (5”x7”) is a good size.
  • Stack around 15 pieces of tissue paper on top of one another.
  • Use the same colour or different colours.
  • If you want to use a smaller number of pieces of tissue paper, the flower will not be as full.
  • Accordion pleat the tissue paper working from the long side.
  • Wind one end of the chenille stem around the middle of the accordion pleated tissue paper.
  • Trim the ends of each side to give the petals a unique look.
  • Trimming the ends into a point or a bump will look very pretty. You can use special scissors for this.
  • Gently separate each layer pulling upwards toward the middle of the flower.
  • Do the second side.
  • Bunch your flowers together and put them in a vase (don’t use water).


Trees are important. Without trees, we humans would not exist on this beautiful planet.

This hurricane has blown away a lot of trees and shrubs; but if you look carefully, you will see many of these trees and shrubs are already growing leaves. They are starting to look very green again. It helps that we have had rain. Rain is very important to all vegetation. It makes everything grow and stay green.

1. Trees produce oxygen.

A mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year.

2. Trees clean the soil and fight soil erosion.

Trees filter sewage, reduce the effects of animal wastes, clean roadside spills and clean water runoff into streams. Trees also keep the soil in place and conserve rainwater.

3. Trees slow storm water runoff.

Flash flooding can be dramatically reduced by planting trees. One tree can intercept more than 1,000 gallons of water annually when fully grown.

4. Trees clean the air.

Trees help clean the air by intercepting airborne particles, reducing heat, and absorbing such pollutants as carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.

5. Trees shade and cool.

Shade resulting in cooling is what a tree is best known for. Shade from trees reduces the need for air conditioning.

If you have lost a tree or even a lot of trees in your garden, think about planting one in the empty space. Tend to it carefully and you will have a beautiful tree once again!

As the largest hurricane in the history of the Atlantic began closing in on the little island of St. Maarten/St. Martin the world watched and waited with bated breath. This was especially true for those with a seafaring background and those who had family there. Captain Lucille Frye was one such person. A resident on island, and a class 4 Captain on mega yachts, she was in constant touch with her family offering updated weather reports and keeping everyone informed from Europe where she happened to be at the time. The family was hunkering down before the onslaught; having endured the “once-in-a-lifetime” Hurricane Luis they had a very good idea of what was to come and how the aftermath would test everyone’s mettle.

Contact was lost, the weather reports showed that the eye passed over the island and knowing that aid would be needed Lucille swung into action. Being in contact with many people around the world she was able to assist with the coordination of the first much needed medical supplies to land on island and get delivered directly to the hospital.

A team was beginning to come together, a team of dedicated people who wanted to helpdirectly where help was needed. There are many people in the yachting circle who reached out wanting to help the people on island. Funding was set up and asthe donations grew; help could be sent.

The first private boat making way into Simpson Bay Lagoon – ARK # 1 - was captained by Andy Sinkey. Andy had lost his boat during Hurricane Luis and knew full well what was happening on the island. Now a resident on Dominica where he and his wife built an off grid eco hideaway in between working together on charter yachts Andy immediately volunteered to fill a yacht up with supplies in Martinique and sail it up to St. Maarten.

Sadly no sooner did he get here with relief supplies than the threat of Hurricane Maria stalled his immediate return trip. Andy and the yacht sat here, unable to return while the eye passed over Dominica where his wife and sister were holding the fort.

Andy lost contact with his family and the totally devastated island. Desperate to return he needed to find new crew to sail with him back down island but not before he collected another 4 tons of supplies including much needed medical supplies from the St. Maarten Medical Hospital as they now had some to share with Dominica.

Andy finally made it home to find his family safe and started the long process of rebuilding.

(ARK # 1 delivered 4 tons of immediate aid relief that included water, food, gas, diesel, tarps and medical supplies and K 1 Brittania distributed these supplies. The plan to rotate the ARK # 1 between St. Kitts and St. Maarten did not materialize with the onslaught of Maria in Dominica.)

In the meantime, new ideas for relief for St. Maarten was moving ahead. The yachting circle really love coming to the island in high season and they wanted tooffer as much help as they could to help from a distance. Donations came in from many companies, crew and individuals in the yachting industry.

During the Monaco Yacht Show Captain Juan Koelenberg on the 63m explorer vessel M/Y SuRi generously offered the yacht to be part of this aid as ARK # 2. With the owners blessing, he kindly agreed to collect aid in Barcelona, Spain and stop in St. Maarten en route to the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show.

Lucille and the BWA St. Maarten team gathered lists from some small foundations on the island who were really in need. With only a few days to prepare the lists were sent to Antonella Della Pietra and her team at BWA Yachting Spain. This incredible team literally shopped till they dropped, gathering together and labeling supplies listed for the foster homes, children’s homes, care centers and foundations for both the people and animals who were desperate for items that were literally swept away by the winds from Irma.

Essential furniture such as cots, beds, mattresses, linens, bedding, personal items, school supplies, animal food and cans and long life foods were shopped for. These items were all designated to help the children and their caretakers to a “new” normal way of life.

M/Y SuRi and the ground team in France made up boxes of supplies and stowed them onboard before they headed out on the proposed sail to Florida. As time was so short before the yacht left the bulk of the shopping was done by the BWA team in Barcelona, Spain; this meant that the yacht had to make a quick stop there to enable the team to get the supplies and stow them on the yacht.

M/Y SuRi is a 63 meter expedition vessel with an enormous amount of space between the small seaplane, helicopter, tenders and water sports gear they carry. Pallets of long life milk, water, bedding, school supplies, animal food, donated clothing, new clothing, bedding, mattresses and pillows, furniture and food were stowed. These were easily put on and taken off the yacht as there is a big crane with a long extension arm on the aft deck.

M/Y SuRi eventually arrived on St. Maarten and transited the Simpson Bay Bridge on the afternoon of Wednesday 18th October. This was an incredible event as M/Y SuRi is the largest vessel to enter into the lagoon since the passing of the September hurricanes. Kurt Luckert was instrumental in seeing that all debris was cleared and the dock could accommodate this large vessel and vehicles in the driveway. Divers had to ensure the waterway was complete clear of sunken vessels from Simpson Bay through the bridge and the entire water area in front of Palapa Marina. Shore Support, and The Scuba Shop lent tenders and manpower and BWA saw to the clearance and gave huge support with their manpower.

The crew was welcomed and enjoyed a relief party that evening at the Upperdeck such as only Soggy Dollar can provide.

Thursday morning all teams gathered early and the offloading began. Human chains quickly transferred the supplies from boat to shore, the organizations came and collected their consignments and the yacht was out of the lagoon on their way to the Florida Boat Show by the 3 o’clock bridge. From Captain and all crew the word is how much they love coming to the island and although the islanders are dealing with such devastation they were received with the warmth the yachting community knows they always get when the arrive here. They hope that more yachts will make their way to the island this season.

M/Y SURI’s crew, as well as the BWA teams France, Spain and St. Maarten, is grateful to be part of this effort the caring yachting community put into place. They worked incredibly hard to get the consignments to the right people, at the right place, in a timely manner. The support from the overseas yachting community includes individual yachts and BWA, assisting member of the Super Yacht Aid Coalition (SAC) with Yacht Aid Global. (YAG)

Sun rises at 6:07am

Sun sets at 5:55pm

Moon phase: First Quarter, waxing crescent

Moon sets at 7:11pm Saturday

Moon rises at 8:30am Sunday


More Meteor Showers!

This weekend get the lounge chairs out and enjoy some late night excitement, it’s time for the annual Orionid Meteor Shower. The peak of the shower is expected after midnight Saturday into the wee hours of Sunday morning. But remember that meteor showers aren’t just one-night events. In fact, they can last for several weeks, as Earth passes through a stream of debris left behind by a comet, and in the case of the Orionids, it’s the famous Comet Halley.


The meteor activity may remain more or less constant for several nights in a row. The Orionid meteors generally start at late night, or around midnight, and display maximum numbers in the predawn hours. If you peer in a dark sky between midnight and dawn on October 22, it’s likely you’ll see some meteors flying.


Best of all, it’s just a few days past new moon right now! That means no moonlight to wash out the meteors; they should be nice and bright. You can expect to see as many as 15 falling stars per hour during the prime viewing times.

The radiant point for the Orionids is in the northern part of Orion, near Orion’s club. Orion rises in the east at late evening, fairly close to midnight. The brightest star in the sky, Sirius, is to the southwest of Orion on the sky’s dome, and the Belt stars always point to Sirius.


Do you need to know Orion to see the meteors? Nah. The meteors appear in all parts of the sky. But if you trace the paths of the meteors backwards, you’ll see they all seem to come from this constellation.


After sunset

Can’t wait until the late night for a star show? Just enjoy the bright stars and planets gracing the skies after sunset. Look west to see the crescent moon set early in the evening. Following the moon down to the western horizon will be Scorpius with the beautiful star Antares marking its eye. Above and to the left a bit, notice a planet: Saturn. Good viewing of this “Lord of the Rings” if you have binoculars or a telescope! But just looking at Saturn and knowing what it is can bring you great joy, another world complete with its own set of moons, a place we have sent space probes, a mysterious promise of future discoveries.


Thank you for keeping up with the Night Sky articles. If you are out later on in the week, each star rises about four minutes earlier each day than written here, and the moon rises 50 minutes later. Night Sky is researched and compiled by Lisa Davis-Burnett. is a key resource for information and images. Questions or comments? Email [email protected]

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