Unfathomable acronyms, part IX. YACSCASOV – Hmm, this’un sounds almost Russian or Eastern European….but it stands for Yet Another Charming Saban Cottage And Stunning Ocean View. Well, drink it in, friends, ’cause I sure am. The time is nigh, I leave tomorrow morning for San Francisco, and I’ve cherished every great moment or conversation turn on this island. C’est la vie. Life moves ceaselessly forward, and I ride the train to wherever it’ll take me. I’ll be back, l’il island…don’t know when.
The Beekeepers of Saba
Spending a lot of time down on the Giles quarter coastline lately, coming up ridges and checking out the unique flora and fauna down there, as well as unusual and unique ruins. I showed this picture to the locals, asking what this big stone wall was for. It extends in a big circle, so I figured it for a pasture or remains of the sugar cane plantations in the late 1800’s (BTW, Saba no longer grows sugar cane…the dry climate can’t support it natively, either).
But oddly enough, folks told me it was for some kind of beekeeper’s colony, which puzzled me, as I’m not sure what good the stone wall encircling a bee haven would do. I’ll inquire around a little further to see what the scoop is.
Another early morning hike down to the harbor, meander along the coastline, and voila, snapped this fellow doing what his family has been doing for more than a hundred years. Came up the Dancing Place ridge to Windwardside and started collecting boxes for shipping.
With three weeks remaining, guess I’m finally winding down. On the other hand, many folks would give an arm or leg just to have three weeks away from the frenetic pace of their lives, so no melancholy me ’til I’m off the rock and in the city once more.
“The greatest gift of life on the mountain is time. Time to think or not think, read or not read, scribble or not scribble — to sleep and cook and walk in the woods, to sit and stare at the shapes of the hills. I produce nothing but words; I consumer nothing but food, a little propane, a little firewood. By being utterly useless in the calculations of the culture at large I become useful, at last, to myself.”
― Philip Connors
Though this quote is in reference to hiking and camping on the mountain, I still think it sums up the essence of my coming here, particularly that last bit. I love the city I live in, but equally do I love this rugged rock, the peace and tranquility of its folks and its setting, above and below the water. People ask me if I miss the city, and my general answer is no, I’m focused on wringing out every bit of distraction free relaxation until the day I leave, and on the plane, I’ll get excited about where I’m going; I’m so much better at living in the moment at this stage in life, no apologies or regrets.
When you walk down the steep and sidewinder curves of The Road down to Fort Bay, you can take a mild detour to climb onto the hill above the harbor, across from Bunker Hill. Rather than looking towards the sea, where the Dutch Navy frigate was bringing in 60,000 liters of relief water to the hospital, the government building, and the old folks home due to our current drought, I looked back up at Thais Hill, which looms over the road, and up to the edge of the St John’s Flat, close to where I live. Never a shortage of new angles, and this one really shows off the rugged nature of this auld rock, forever subject to the wear and tear of weather, the thin wisps of stratus clouds high aloft and skimming the atmosphere. Not bad, Saba, not bad at all.
Two Against The Hill
Old Booby Hill stands off on its own between the Windwardside Level and Spring Bay. It’s an absolutely wonderful diversion off trail hike from the Spring Bay trail saddle, and a mere 20 minutes of scrambling up low scrub nets you fantastic views of Saba’s south coast that you can’t see without an airplane or being on a boat offshore: a full view of Hell’s Gate all the way from the airport up to Mt Scenery, as well as the rugged sea cliffs directly below The Level. I rambled up the summit earlier this week with UK Bob the builder and his artsy crafty French wife Marie. This picture captures just a smidgeon of the many grand views from the Old Booby Hill summit, as well as the short, but steep little climb to get there. I recommend this hike strongly, as a surprising number of locals and long term expats have never done this fulfilling side excursion in the many years they’ve been here. It was Bob and Marie’s first time in the seven years they’ve been here.
By the way, New Booby Hill (simply called Booby Hill) is on the way to The Level, and has many expansive homes with fantastic views.
Clouds and Fierce Waves Turned To Glass
Though it may not look like it, I took this image in near darkness at a sunset BBQ. The shutter was open 30 seconds, which turns the water into an aqua pond, the waves against the shore into a misty swirl, and the clouds into a blue purple glass.
We’re in March, and the clock is finally ticking down on my time here on beautiful Saba. Cliche, but damn, time goes so fast, and there’s nowhere to hold onto to try and reign it in or slow it down. Let’s see what else remains in these final weeks for my lens, for my novel in progress, for music I compose, for great times with friends on Saba. I’ve accumulated such a wealth of images I like, I’m considering pulling together a limited run coffee table picture book. Sound interesting?
La Luna Bella
Rambling down the twists and turns of Hell’s Gate to a perfect Sunday Cove Bay BBQ hosted by Tanner (chef at Shearwater Resort) and his gal Patricia, the moon swapped roles and let the clouds be the crescent over Saba’s airport, and this delightful sunset was the brief result. It only lasted maybe 30-60 seconds before the clouds broke up and hid Mister Moon. But hey, right time, right place.
Cheers to all who’ve watched the Saba video yesterday; proved to be a most popular blogpost indeed. More to come. Au revoir ’til tomorrow!
I talked to Chef Michael from Brigadoon, and indicated I’d like to take another crack at climbing the monolithic whale tail on Paris Hill. Hoping he can come with me, as he’s done it several times before, and it’ll help me to see how before I tackle it. We’ll see. In the meantime, here’s a sample of the gorgeous south coast views of Saba from Paris Hill. I’d like to especially thank the foreground yucca for acting like a mini-sunrise accent to the picture when only minutes before, that seemingly innocent sunny plant’s serrated edges had ripped a variety of tiny holes in my calves when I came over the ridge to the summit. Flora dualism or have I finally reached a point where I’m anthropomorphizing Saba’s durable vegetation as a lame cover for poor hiking skills? I’ll leave that opinion to you, dear readers. Cheers and have a great day!
Views like this, though they hold sad memories for some, inspire me to write, because the earth and sky still create magical art together every day here on Saba. The novel continues to move forward, no slower or faster than my muse will allow, and I’m ok with that. Que sera sera, amigos y amigas!
In No Sense, Nunsense
I saw my brother off on the plane this afternoon after an intense twelve days, rambled up Hell’s Gate in record time following beautiful girls who just happened to be walking up as well, realized I forgot today’s blogpost, attempted to meet a French scientist in The Bottom, chatted with mi amigo Michael Irish, and at long last, here I be with you, listening to the wind blow fiercely here in St John’s. C’est la vie here on Saba, friends. Small wonder I’m sharing these floaty, cloudscapes over the mountain, eh? Just that kinda mood.
May you have a wonderful day ahead or behind you!