The more powerful of the two Sea Saba dive boats I dived with on Saba is Giant Stride, pictured here along with the teeny little work hard workin’ truck Johnny Boy that the SS crew uses to ferry daily gear, tanks, and water back and forth between the dive shop and the pier. I used infrared processing on this pic to bring out the clouds on the horizon against the foreground harbor, truck and boat. Cool beans, n’est ce pas?
The series of diesel pipes visible on the main building in this harbor photo are the Linzy Power Plant, conveniently built down in the harbor such that when a hurricane warning is imminent, it has to shut down, thereby shutting down electricity to the island for the duration of the warning or storm event. Now, to be fair, they likely built it down there to have easy access to both cooling water and the diesel barges that come in weekly. Moreover, we had only a couple blackouts while I was on Saba, and power was generally restored pretty quickly; I’m told the plant prides itself on rapid restoration of power. I’m told the surge waves of most tropical storms that get within 100 miles of Saba reach the level of the Saba Deep sign on the far left of the cluster of buildings (click to see full sized photo), which means they fully engulf all the harbor buildings. Ah, rugged hurricane life on Saba. On the positive side, Saba hasn’t had a big hurricane event since Omar in 2008. Before that was Lenny in 1999 and Georges in 1998.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
10am WinAir flight out on this sunny Easter Sunday, a fifteen minute jaunt over to Saint Maarten, where I’ll switch off to USAir, bop over to Charlotte, North Carolina, then across the expansive continental US, landing in San Francisco International Airport near midnight, a taxi to my brother’s place in Bernal Heights, a sleepover, then a BART train to the city, where I’ll walk a couple blocks to my loft, pick up my keys, drop my bags off, journey to Sacramento via Zipcar to retrieve my furry friends Snoopy and Lucy; they will meow the whole way back, no doubt, as they are unfond of car rides.
*Sigh* Exit island life, back to city life. Saba is an utterly lovely island. If you haven’t been, then go. You’ll see. If you have been, well, isn’t it about time you planned that return trip? In any case, put it on your bucket list, regardless, and find all the places I took my photos. See, a scavenger hunt challenge 😉
As for this blog, it probably transitions from a travel blog to a blog of adventures in SFO, though daily blogposts are unlikely to continue…that’s high commitment with regular life. But that’s ok, I imagine. One writer’s sojourn to the tropics becomes a traversal through quirky city life.
So long, and thanks for all the fish! See you in San Francisco…soon, I hope.
Clouds, clouds, everywhere, and poor ol’ Saba is still dry as a bone. At least it’s finally a little breezy up high in the villages. It’s quiet out in blog land lately….anybody out there?
Wherever You Go, There You Be
I encourage everyone to dig back in the blog archives if you haven’t been following the blog on any regular basis; there’s lots of fun and beautiful pictures of Saba from many perspectives. Interesting to me is that all the sunrises have a different character about them to the point where they become a repeat subject, but I can’t help it; they’re gorgeous to me.
Brother and I dived this morning, and he did his first deep dive, saw his first reef shark and anemone. In the evening, we had pizza at Guido’s in Windwardside for Valentine’s Day din-din, shared with Andrew, a talented underwater photographer and Olly, two of our Sea Saba dive instructor pals, talking about diving, photography, music, and women to the pleasant fizz of El Presidente beer. The walk home was a night full of stars and a bladed crescent moon nestled in a shroud of glowing clouds. Not a bad day on this blissfully quiet island.
Remains Of The Day
Seahorse, Stingrays, Sharks = Underwater Happiness
Scuba divers new to a location, and particularly new to diving, as my visiting brother is, have no frame of reference for sighting (relatively) rare aquatic life around Saba. They simply think this is what those of us who dive often around here see nearly every dive. In any case, today, our bundle of smiles and energy Sea Saba dive instructor Kelly took us to the windward side dive site of Big Rock Market and 5 minutes later, we spotted bright yellow gorgeous seahorse wrapped around a rope coral, then he let go and started swimming around. Perfectly elegant and moving to be in the water with the little fella. Same dive had two eels (my first spotted and a baby green), stingray, bro’s first shark (nurse), and much much more. Of course, no one had a camera. Gaaaaah – sorry about that.
Sea Saba Dive Center German dive instructor Vicky strides along the Fort Bay Pier towards the the dive boats Giant Stride and Sea Dragon. I’m heading into dive number 20 this week, a blip on a dive instructor’s radar, but man, the zen of floating weightless in the big blue is every bit the thrill as the aquatic creatures and reefs around me. Underwater pictures soon, I promise!
Swells, Sharks, and Stingrays
Cranking the picture colors of Saba on this pic taken on the way to diving 100 feet down to the Pinnacles yesterday–fantastic underwater site!–got me this ominous shot of the island to share; I suspect the Auld Rock is picking up the blue water reflections the naked eye doesn’t necessarily see by the bright light of the Caribbean morning sun.
Pictures of stingrays and sharks? Uh, no, not yet, although now that my buoyancy underwater is decent enough to confidently float inches above the reefs to look at the l’il critters and do swim throughs under hanging formations, I’m planning on the logistics of taking pics underwater soon. The dive sites down here have names as cool as their aquatic denizens: 3rd Encounter, Babylon, Hole In The Corner…
More to come…