Today’s photos and video are of Rachel and Marlies and what is currently the Eden Bakery associated with Restaurant Eden in Windwardside, and soon to be Bizzy B Bakery. Rachel–the bakery founder and owner–is striking out with her own shop across from Saba’s legendary Swinging Doors saloon. Marlis came from Holland in December, and I met her on my New Year’s Eve walk to Windwardside just days after she had arrived to help Rachel. These two ladies are a hoot and a holler to hang out with, having sunny dispositions, great senses of humor, and fast bakery hands to turn out high demand bakery items for most of the restaurants and grocery stores in Windwardside as well as a steady influx of walk-in customers who come by in the early AM hours to get fresh hot bread and croissants straight out of the oven for the working day. So what motivates someone to open a bakery on a five square mile island in the Caribbean? The short video below has Rachel and Marlies telling their own story along with ample shots of the goodies and process of their current ovens. Enjoy and make sure if you’re on Saba or planning to be here to look them up…your taste buds won’t regret it!
Day Off, Mr. Chef? Nothing A Precarious Climb Can’t Cure
Michael Chammaa is the Lebanese born chef and proprietor of the Brigadoon restaurant, along with his wife Tricia. He also happens to be a bit of a fitness freak, a divemaster, and as readers of my blog may remember, he also knows some rather challenging off trail excursions that really put me up close and personal with Saba’s rugged volcanic terrain.
A couple days ago, I asked Michael to return with me to Great Hill and the Saba whale, in an attempt to tackle the tail, which I didn’t do on my own when I came last. One side story: the great whale tail is also the namesake for Saba’s celebrated dive sites Tent Reef, Tent Wall, and Tent Deep, as the rock, covered with red lichen, is clearly visible from the sea below, and looks like a three pointed tent (or maybe a teepee to me).
It rained like crazy on our way up Paris Hill to get to the whale, and as usual, Michael had other plans as well; we popped on headlamps, climbed up some boulders and came across a cave entrance straight out of Indiana Jones, with hanging vines at its mouth, a dark cavern beyond. For the next hour, the Chef challenged my fat butt with corkscrew and cliff hanging moves and descents into the belly of the whale. The good news? It was a dry, dusty cave, no goat droppings, threatening stalactites, and no signs of insect life. (Slightly) bad news? When we had penetrated roughly 120ft (38m) in and 40 ft (12m) down into the volcanic nether regions, we came across a main cavern room that had dropped rocks on an entrance hole since the last time Michael had been there, 18 months earlier, which had me momentarily uneasy, if a few more rocks decided to drop. But it was solid in there, and we climbed our way out with no issues, and I had another unique Saba adventure under my belt. No pictures…too dusty and didn’t want to risk dropping the camera along a shelf into the darkness.
We came out and it was still raining and blowing with gusts up to 30-40mph (50-60kph). I told Michael I needed a better day to tackle the tail, and of course, he ignored me and went straight there, where I filmed his rapid 2:12 second ascent. I hope the pictures give you a scale and perspective on how intimidating this climb is up close, with its dropoffs. I’m sure it’s a pithy effort for bouldering/rock climbing specialists, but for big Hawaiian dudes, its a challenge for another drier day. But if you’re interested in seeing a quick, crazy climb, check the short video out to watch Michael use weak weed roots to climb up in his tennis shoes, up volcanic boulders shining slick with rain. Yikes. The things we do on Saba when we’re bored. D’Oh!
And Now For Something Completely Different (Video)
We got a cool short video clips of Saba., including the plane takeoff from the shortest commercial runway in the world. I sure hope this works, it took 45 minutes to upload (thanks Scout’s Place) Would love reader feedback and comments on this first ever video of Saba hiking I made during a couple hikes with my brother down to Spring Bay and up Mt Scenery. Those who haven’t been here yet should get a good sense of the varied terrain and scale, while those who know and love Saba will either have fond remembrances of certain trails or get their hiking feet on and get back on the trails if they’re here 😉 Keep in mind, my brother Michael and I had a little bit o’ goofin’ around doing this video.
Sorry for the late post today, I’ve been on an all morning early hike and spent this evening trying to load this vid up.
Have fun & please comment as it suits ya. We’ll return to our regular scheduled photos in the coming days. Cheers!