May The Ox Be Ever In Your Flavor

Cove Bay and Old Booby Hill, Saba, Dutch Caribbean
Cove Bay and Old Booby Hill, Saba, Dutch Caribbean

Hey folks…long time, no post, eh? The site is undergoing a reorg now that my remaining Saba pictures have dwindled down to nothing, so that you can enjoy other pictures of the world I inhabit and image. So postings may be a bit scarce for a little bit until I finish that exercise, which involves recategorizing all my Saba posts.

This view from the Cove Bay “beach”–temporarily replaced now that the Wells Bay disappearing beach has reappeared for a bit on the western side of Saba–was the first view of Saba I saw when I arrived on Dec 2012, as it lies a short walk below the airport. You’ve seen pictures in earlier blogposts of the climb up Old Booby Hill, and even the long exposure shot of Cove Bay without the little rock barrier shown here.

Cheers to the new Dutch King, by the way. Seems like a well intentioned royal.

Sensual Scuba And The Cracks, Pops, And Bubbles Of Fish

Sea Saba Dive Boat, Fort Bay, Saba, Dutch Caribbean
Sea Saba Dive Boat, Fort Bay, Saba, Dutch Caribbean

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?

Everyone Who Drinks Is Not A Poet. Maybe Some Folks Drink Because They’re Not Poets

Vinyard Cottage And The Sea Grape Tree
Vinyard Cottage And The Sea Grape Tree

In greener times in 2012, my morning ritual was to pop my sandals on, cook up some bacon & eggs, and sit outside on the stone steps to the cottage, and this view was typical on stormy mornings that would always turn out to be sunny by early afternoon. I’d type a little of my story out on the iPad and inhale the fresh air. It didn’t suck.

Strong Heart And The Palm Tree That Shrugs And Smokes Ciggies

Palm Tree, Mt Scenery, Saba, Dutch Caribbean
Palm Tree, Mt Scenery, Saba, Dutch Caribbean

On the final jaunt up Mt Scenery before I left the island, rambling up Bud’s Mountain Trail on the way to Mt Scenery, there was a break in the canopy and a couple palm trees stark against the sky. Don’t ask me why I processed this in this color, probably desire for variety more than anything.

Raincloud Horizon On A Saban Easter

Raincloud Horizon, Saba, Dutch Caribbean
Raincloud Horizon, Saba, Dutch Caribbean

As readers of my blog know, Saba has been in a drought condition for quite a while. The day I left the island, it was raining steadily on Easter Sunday, as it had the day before, some respite to the parched little Caribbean isle. I snapped my last shots from the balcony of Tricia and Michael Chammaa’s apartments in Lower Hell’s Gate, and managed to get this gorgeous and dramatic horizon.

Here’s to many more rainy days like this for my Saban friends. April showers and all that good stuff.

Leprechauns Are Redundant Rascals In The Emerald City

The Path To Mt Scenery, Saba, Dutch Caribbean
The Path To Mt Scenery, Saba, Dutch Caribbean

Generally speaking, for Saba jungle images I took while I was there, I have to reduce the saturation of the color green, because it’s so incredibly green on your way up, it tends to blow out your eyes ability to pick out detail. I let the green be in this picture, so you can really get a sense of the kinds of jungle flora around you, on trees, ferns, plants, and the man made volcanic stone walls that line some of the hike to Mt Scenery. It’s the most strenous official trail on Saba, and I summited ten times during my four months there. I always discovered something new and delightful.

For those of you who’ve summited Mt Scenery, this particular structure is very distinct and unique on the scenery path. Care to guess where on the path it is?

Avatar Cloud Beast Freaks Out Grandpa So Much He Spits Out His Dentures

Angel Clouds and Cliffs, Mt Scenery Summit, Saba, Dutch Caribbean
Angel Clouds and Cliffs, Mt Scenery Summit, Saba, Dutch Caribbean

My last hike on Saba was an easy ramble up Mt Scenery with my island amigo Fred Bower, who in his five and a half years on the island, hadn’t made it up the mountain. We stopped plenty for photographs, and although it was cloudy up top so views were curtailed, it was still otherworldy enough to afford Fred the views everyone else had referenced. Now he’s off to Costa Rica with his wife Kelly (a longtime Sea Saba boat captain and dive instructor) for some more craziness, of which I confess I am jealous. Kudos for them!

I dig this photograph not because it’s a great photograph, but while I stood there with the clouds racing over the cliffs, and just a peak view of the ocean and Statia and the green cliffs from the Scenery summit, I felt like it was the kind of cloud view the movies so often portray, and eventually an angel or some otherworldly creature (Avatar?) pops out, flies around, freaks everyone out, then everyone watches in awe as the beast zooms and zigzags around. Ah, well. There goes my imagination again. Enjoy! I’m back in San Francisco, but still going through my archives for worthy pix. Not many more, I promise.

The Winding Road Gathers Chess Playing Rock Rats

The Road Winds Down To Fort Bay, Saba, Dutch Caribbean
The Road Winds Down To Fort Bay, Saba, Dutch Caribbean

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.

Cottage Cheese And The Pursuit Of Water Color

Three Cottages, Saba, Dutch Caribbean
Three Cottages, Saba, Dutch Caribbean

A simple picture (converted to watercolor) of three old Windwardside cottages, lined up neatly in a row in the foothills of Mt Scenery. Something so orderly and cool about the way these villages sit on top of the Auld Rock just appeals to me, call me crazy.

Life moves at its steady pace here on Saba as I start collecting boxes to pack, plan a few last hikes, finish up my remaining dives to say goodbye to the aquatic life, and of course, make the rounds to thank the locals, expats, and friends I’ve made along the way. Life is good.

Keeping It (Sur)Real In Saba

Telephone Lines, Windwardside, Saba, Dutch Caribbean
Telephone Lines, Windwardside, Saba, Dutch Caribbean

The rise of Instagram on the Web has been interesting to me. The program allows ordinary folks to take their digital smartphone pictures and rough them up to look like old Instamatic or Polaroids, so its retro throwback all the way. In that vein of thinking, I kept looking at this picture of a Windwardside road with the telephone lines strung haphazardly to every house, which poses an artistic challenge. My final Jeopardy answer was to rough the picture up, heap some good old film grain on it, and now I’m pleased with the sort of surreal picture that results. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you’ll see it’s definitely a real picture, but when you pull back on it…this unusual image of the village emerges. In the end, its undeniably Saba, which is what I wanted. It could be nothing else in the world with this combo of colors, cottages, and tropical contours.