Saba’s power plant, looking like a relic from the dawn of the Industrial Age, up close and personal an desaturated to a grayish black and white, with the color of the cliffs behind it. It continues to chug along its diesel self, except when it doesn’t, and then the island goes eery black if its night time, or just a little quieter if its daytime. It works.
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.