Friday, March 16, 2012

Saba


 Two days ago, with Sally's time onboard running low, we decided to go on sailing adventure off to the Island of Saba.


As you can see in the above and below photo, Saba is not your palm lined sandy Caribbean island and is really inhospitable to human inhabitation, being very steep, few “beaches” and very mountainous.

The island is however a story of man’s pig-headedness in making harsh environments their own.

The first hint of this is Ladder Bay, a small harbour with 524 steps up the side of a cliff, up which all materials bought to Saba where man handled until about the mid-1900s.

Our mooring for the night was here


The Road - Now Saba is part of the Dutch Antilles, but in the 40’s they sought assistance from the Dutch Government to build a road across the mountainous island and were told it was impossible, so a local took a correspondence course in road building and over the next 20 odd years the locals built their road across the island using only hand tools and wheel barrows...





The Airport - The story goes that the locals hired a pilot from St Barts to find a piece of the island he thought he could land on, they flattened it and he landed and so began the construction of their airport!

Apparently, airplanes don't actually take off from the runway.  The runway simply ends and you hope you have enough speed by the time that you run off the end and fall over the cliff!!  






    Anyway, we didn't get to see any of these island features because when we arrived the wind was gusting over 25 with big seas.  After considering sailing on to St. Martin (another 29 miles) we decided to pick up one of the local visitor moorings.




By about 330am, both Debbie and I couldn't sleep as the boat seemed to be rolling from rail to rail.  So, noticing that the wind had died down we jointly decided to get the heck out of dodge and get an early start on the trip to St. Martin.


Great call!!  We had an easy trip, arrived early and had a full day on St. Martin for Sally to enjoy before her departure today.