written by Mate-In-Training, Megan Lundequam
July 11, 2017
When we woke up this morning, we were initially caught off guard before recognizing the massive and daunting island that we moored up to the night before. Saba, looking even more prehistoric than it did last night, was the subject of all of our breakfast conversation as we mused over how magnificent the island appeared and shared how excited we were to explore the island itself and the waters surrounding it today.
The dive boat picked us up at 8a.m. sharp and drove us all around to the south side of the island where taxis met us at the dinghy dock to take us into town. We wound up and down and around the 18 mile road that took roughly 20 years to build, reaching an elevation of 1788 feet before sloping down to just above sea level. Needless to say, the ride was nothing short of breathtaking as we were either winding through the quaint town full of colorful houses and shops or hugging the cliff side with a perfect view of the open ocean.
We eventually arrived to the dive shop in town where we had all of our divers check in and then split into two groups with one set to walk around the shops and stop for lunch while the other group went to Jo Bean’s studio to make some handmade glass beads! At Jo Bean’s, we were welcomed with open arms into her beautiful studio filled with gorgeous glass beads available for purchase with her bead making station set up behind the merchandise. Each student and staff member had a chance to look around the shop and pick out something they might like to purchase and then make a bead themselves! Although the glass rods and melting torch looked a bit intimidating at first, Jo’s support helped all of our fears fly out the window and made us all feel like naturals. We left adorned with beautiful glass pendants and, after the two groups switched and everyone had a chance to get some lunch and make some beads, we all met back at the dive shop where the taxi took us back down to the bottom of the island so we could load on to the dive boat and head out for our afternoon dives!
Everyone was beyond excited and I think it’s safe to say the experience exceeded everyone’s expectations. We saw turtles, eels, sharks, sting rays, barracudas, sea horses and lion fish and swam through underwater swim throughs, marveling at the familiar yet exotic landscape of the Dutch Caribbean.
We all met up back at boats and started showering while dinner crew prepared our meal. After dinner and dinner clean, we stood on the transom for a bit and swooned over the intensity of the bioluminescent plankton, even managing to spot a small shark lurking beneath our dinghy!
We ended the night with a boat meeting and finally all took some time to relax and enjoy the stars. Lying up on deck, we realized just how exhausted we were after such a busy day so we started to brush our teeth and get ready for bed before snuggling into our hammocks and drifting off to the sound of chatty goats in the distance as we dreamed of all the adventures Saba has in store for us tomorrow.
Note: As the Delta fleet prepares for their overnight sail back to the BVIs this evening, we are excited to gather and publish the photos from their Down Island adventures once they have arrived back to us. With just another day of patience, we’ll have plenty of media to show for the magic they’ve been getting up to in the Leeward Islands!