Alliteration with -sh-. The irony wasn’t lost on us as we dined on the best lamb of my life in this tiny hotel in South Iceland, as we looked out the restaurant’s picture window at this spectacular sunrise the next morning. One of the sheep seemed to be saying, “‘Arold’s being eaten!” True, but he was delicious. There are more sheep than people in Iceland, so thinning the herds a bit isn’t the worst. Plus that sunrise!
Lobo Lodge was located deep in northern Serengeti, isolated, gorgeous, and completely unoccupied except our group of four and the staff that outnumbered us. But boy oh boy were the views lovely in every direction. As the sun set, we saw the giraffes and elephants amble to the shadows and set down at night. Later on, as we enjoyed cocktails at the outdoor bar by the pool, hyenas yipped and barked. Not a bad evening to go to sleep to.
The outer avenues of San Francisco are foggy most of the year, but in these past few drought years, they’ve been sunnier and clearer than usual. I rambled one day from my loft near the Bay out to the Sunset district, a wonderful little neighborhood with quintessential boutique shops and restaurants. I had a pork belly burrito (yum) and marched up to these 16th avenue steps to Grandview park, where the neighbors joined together over the years to create the most elaborate and colorful of San Francisco’s staircases. The closeup detail is equally as beautiful.
I got to the top of Grandview Park – looked west to the Pacific and east back to the Bay and city proper – and figured once again that I was a fortunate fellow to end up here in this place.
Damn. I took this nice sunset photo from the desk of the main El Momo cottages office up on The Level, then saw the rug draped over the fence. Heck, it’s still a gorgeous view, let’s go wit’ it.
Just because the fallout of 1900 metric tons of sulfur ash from the perrenially active volcanic isle of Montserrat downwind of us made for one of the best sunsets many recent locals can recall, doesn’t mean I wish for that kinda thing. Sabans tell me it happens around 3-4 times a year. The whole day, Saba was hot hot hot and a bluish haze hung over the island, smelling like rotten eggs. But when night approached, I was having dinner at Scout’s Place in Windwardside and this is one of the sunset images I captured off the terrace.
A Short History On Saba’s Airport
[Saba] airport’s risky reputation arises from the airport’s physical position: it is flanked on one side by high hills; and on the runway’s other side and both ends, cliffs drop into the sea. Additionally, the runway at the airport is extremely short (400m ); this creates the possibility that an airplane could under/overshoot the runway during landing or takeoff and end up in the sea or dashed on the rocky cliffs.
For those of you who saw the video blog a couple weeks ago with the plane taking off, the description above may amplify the concern about landing or taking off in Saba, but the airport’s had no fatalities or crashes in its 50 years of operation. This is the second or third incarnation of the airport, as the first couple terminal buildings blew down in hurricanes, most recently Hurricane Lenny in 1999. Flat Point was cleared of rocks by Saban folks in 1959 for a landing by pilot Remy F De Haenan to prove Saba could support aircraft, and it officially opened in 1963. Due to its length, it only supports a couple commercial short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft and helicopters, of course. The airport is named for Juancho E. Yrausquin, a prominent Dutch politician for the Antilles in the 1950’s.
There are normally only 4 WinAir flights a day, except during major holidays, when the students from the university fly out and they ramp it up considerably (10-12), but the net of it is, the sound of planes over Saba is generally rare, except at 7am, 10am, 1pm, and 5pm. Moreover, I can’t recall having ever heard a jet overhead. This contributes the the general peace and quiet on this isle I cherish.
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!