Friday, February 01, 2008


In mid January we, a crew of four, took a little sail about 28 nautical miles south of Sint Maarten to the island of Saba (pronounced "SAY-ba").

Just short of reaching Saba we heard a loud bang and noticed our bail had broke. (A bail is what holds the main sheet to the boom, and ours happens to be metal.) Due to the fast actions of my captain and some engineering ingenuity, disaster was averted.

Saba is the smallest island (5 sq. miles) of the Netherlands Antilles and can be best described as a dormant volcano, called Mount Scenery, rising out of the Caribbean Sea to a peak of about 877m (3000ft).

We moored off Wells Bay and then the captain gave us a dinghy ride to the pebbly shoreline that seemed determined to keep us away. Once we finally made it ashore we hiked The Ladder, an 800-step stairway chipped out by pioneers. (see photo) As the brochures say, it’s for the fit so we had to stop often on the way up but this gave us cause to turn around and enjoy the view.

With advanced planning, the girls decided to get the full Saba experience and stay ashore. We chose the Ecolodge Rendez-Vous, eco friendly cottage accommodations at the edge of the rainforest and along the hiking trail up Mount Scenery. Each cottage is theme decorated. We had Dolphin cottage. (see photo) A highlight of our visit was dinner at their Rainforest Restaurant, which is alone worth the hike. (You can also get close by taxi.)

The Saban’s appropriately call their island the Unspoiled Queen. Divers, hikers and nature lovers will be hard pressed to find a better place to explore. I was most charmed by the people and the Saban cottages. I can’t wait to go back.

Additional fun facts about Saba:

  • She has less than 1,500 inhabitants.
  • Climate is between 70 -85 degrees Fahrenheit all year.
  • Saba has the worlds smallest commercial airport runway at only 400m (1300ft) and it immediately drops off into deep sea.

Check out more photos of Saba and other 2008 Caribbean digital memories in my account.

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