April 21, 2017
The World’s Craziest Beach.
Our experts + other experts + our media crew + international press + Sint Maarten = work hard, play hard. Sun, sand, surf, palm trees… and the cybersecurity avant garde. Yep – it was SAS 2017.
Hmmm. What’s this fence doing here – practically on the beach? And all those ‘Danger’ signs?
Aha – yes; you’ve guessed it: it’s that landing strip – the one that ends just short of the beach!
But what’s that sound? Drrrrr. Whatever it was, it reminded me of the last bit of Pink Floyd’s On the Run :). Yep, it was the inevitable airplane – albeit a small one – coming in to land:
As you can probably imagine, the feeling on that beach as a plane comes in is pretty unusual. You see a plane in the distance, and it seems to be coming right at you, and as it gets nearer and nearer – it’s still heading right towards… your head. Your paranoia only lifts as its nose seems to lift a little to fly over the beach to land. Oh my Fokker!
Some find beach holidays boring. If that’s you – get here! This beach ain’t boring!…
But I’d still to experience a biggie. So I checked out Flightrader to make sure I was ready for one, and not at the bar or ice cream stand or otherwise engaged.
Ah, here comes a Boeing 757. That’s pretty big. Whooooaaaaahhhh! One of them just 20 meters above your head – freakily funkily unforgettably fantastic!
Just after the thrill of its being overhead, there’s another thrill – of the jets blasting back and causing a mini-tsunami on the beach. Hold on to your hat – literally!
You dust yourself off… and simply wait for the next one. And you’re there, 50+ years old, and loving it just like a kid. And all the folks around you are loving it too. But just wait for an Airbus A330 from Amsterdam or A340 from Paris…
Midori Kuma was loving it too…
Planes taking off are also the coolest. They take off from the other end of the runway, so taxi at the near end. Naturally, some folks line up behind one to get the full blast of the engines once they kick in. Can’t be healthy breathing in all that; but I guess a few times won’t harm ).
Some brave (?!) folks get right up to the bumper that surrounds the airport’s grounds. Rather them than me; I like the clothes I’m wearing so don’t want them ripped up!
They say that bigger is not always better for the beach-blast effect. Smaller planes like the MD-80, which have their engines at the back – not under the wings – are said to be best.
But wait; there’s more!…
More mirth is caused from the other side of the beach too – the ocean side. When the tide’s in the waves get pretty high and cover the whole beach (including the belongings of the less cautious tourists). In short – a dull moment? Here?!! :).
Btw – the name of the beach is Maho Beach – here.
Btw II – SAS-2017 went something like this:
All the photos are here.
PS: A few more pics from our resident photographer R.R.:
But we need to board one of those planes to fly out of here. Thank you Sint Maarten; I’ll be back for sure!…
More on SAS:
ZDNet, Betanews, SC Magazine, SecurityWeek, Wired, The Verge, Dark Reading.
Mini-guide to thrillseeking on Maho Beach (as prepared by A.B.):
B-747: 1, 2.
A.B.’s own videos: A-330 landing, Boeing-757 takeoff (1), Boeing 757 takeoff (2).
Similar vibes in Skiathos Airport, Greece:
Got any more info on this theme – let me know!
Bye for now folks; back tomorrow!…