Sublime Saba

On the trail up to Mt Scenery.
I'm forced to admit that until I started to read the guide about where we should go after St Martin,  I didn't even know Saba existed.  Which seems to be a good thing, not a lot of other people do either.  It's a part of the Dutch Antilles, although most of the people speak English. It's a tiny island, only 5 square miles, but it goes up 3000 feet.  From the water there are very sheer cliffs and hillsides, almost no beach. 
In the center of the island is Mt Scenery, a climb of some 1064 steps. 
The steps are steep, wet with moss and rain and dead leaves, en even.  Steve said it was like climbing the Great Wall, some steps were 6 inches tall and some were 18. Due to my unreliable right knee and my absolute terror of falling and being laid up, I didn't do the whole climb.  I left the group about a third of the way up and, using my trusty walking stick, made my way down an equally wet and steep trail, stopping often to listen to the birds and watch the goats and geckos. 
I met up with Steve, Anne and Chris at the bottom and we headed for the nearest bar for hydration.

Until recently, when the docks and breakwater were installed on the south side of the island, the only way on to Saba was through Ladder Bay. It's named for the 800 steps that go up from the water.  There is an old Customs House about half way up (it's just about in the center of the picture) and according to the guide "Everything from the outside had to be carried up, including, at different times, a piano and a bishop".

The snorkeling was the best we've seen to date. Water so clear we could see the bottom from 45 feet, hundreds and hundreds of fish, corals, sponges and one very curious barracuda. There was a tunnel through the rocks along the shore that we snorkeled through, a first for me.  In the picture above, you can see Chris and Anne snorkeling around the base of Diamond Rock.  From the distance, it does look like it is a faceted rock, but from up close, you can see that it's just bird poop.
                                                    Mt Scenery, as we sail away.
Saba is a spectacular place and if you are looking for a great off the beaten path vacation spot to dive and hike, I highly recommend it.


Patty said...

Wow! is all I can say.

Good to hear from you again.

Bob and Kitty said...

Good God that's beautiful! Stunning. Glad you're having a good time, and totally sympathize with the lame knee thing. My problem too.