Tag Archives: maho

Never Miss the Opportunity to Sleep in a Screened-in Porch!

View of Francis bay from tent-cabin A20.
View of Francis bay from tent-cabin A20.

Camping at Maho Bay was not the version of camping where you pop-up a dome shaped structure, climb inside and roll out your sleeping bag; It was more like staying in a large screened-in porch.

One experience that drew me back to Maho Bay Camp time after time was the so-called “tent”, tent-cabins”, or “cabins” (for lack of a perfect description) which were more like vacationing in a screened-in porch. There was a roof over your head and strategically placed screens around the tent allowing for cool breezes and beautiful views.I grew up in the South in a house with a screened-in porch and always loved the in-between-ness of that space. As we say in architecture: I am inhabiting a threshold, a place that holds the attributes of what is on either side of it (inside the house & the outdoors), joins the spaces, but is its own defined space. The beaches where everyone spends so much time are similar; they are the thresholds where the earth’s land joins the oceans, and walking along the water’s edge I again inhabit a threshold. So it appears that staying near places defined as thresholds, in-between places, are a popular vacation destination.

Maho Bay Camp tents were more than a pop-up tent with a sleeping bag rolled out on the floor, but more like sleeping in a screened-in porch.
Maho Bay Camp tents were more than a pop-up tent with a sleeping bag rolled out on the floor, but more like sleeping in a screened-in porch.
Living room area of an F-section tent, stripped bare just before closing.
Living room area of an F-section tent, stripped bare just before closing.
The slope of the hillside meant many tents were elevated high above the ground below them, feeling much like they were built in the tree canopy
The slope of the hillside meant many tents were elevated high above the ground below them, feeling much like they were built in the tree canopy

The boardwalks were appealing to me as well. They held a space that was defined, outside and yet not walking on the ground. They also served the great benefit of preserving the integrity of the very fragile tropical soil from degradation during construction and habitation, as well as serving as the conduit for the water pipes and electric lines that feed the tents and bathhouses.  Walking under a continuous tree canopy, with a turn in the boardwalk to make way for an immovable volcanic boulder or stately tree, I sometimes felt like a kid again in part because I became more aware of nature and my surroundings.  As I walked the lizards would quickly scurry out from under my feet, always able to be faster than I would expect for their size. Passing by the numerous screened-in porches that visitors were populating in order to commune with the nature around them, I assume somewhere Althea was picking a spot to keep an eye on the daily activity.

Tents and tropical plants along the boardwalk through the C-section of the former Maho Bay Camp.
Tents and tropical plants along the boardwalk through the C-section of the former Maho Bay Camp.
Tent-cabin in the D-Section next to volcanic boulder.
Tent-cabin in the D-Section next to volcanic boulder.