Saba is a Caribbean Island southeast of St. Maarten and northwest of St. Eustatius. Most of the island consists of a slightly active 2,910ft high volcano called Mount Scenery. The Ciboney people first appeared on the island around 1,100 BC. The Arawak from Amazon region came here around 800 AD. The volcanic activity has created numerous nearby pinnacles and seamounts for scuba diving enthusiasts. The last time the mountain erupted was near 1630 and apparently, it’s safe to say that shipwrecked English sailors, Dutch colonists, and Jamaican pirates such as Edward, Thomas, and Henry Morgan enjoyed the “extra hot” in the hot springs. The oldest rocks on the island are some 400,000 years old. Enjoy our blog article on Sea Turtle’s; The Godfathers of All Dive Magazines?
There are jagged cliffs and rocks and no permanent beaches on Saba. The seabirds love the tall difficult to ascend cliffs. However, this is why Christopher Columbus just made a note of the island, then sailed onward. Fortunately, scuba diving is done by boat here and definitely worth stepping down or taking a ride down to one of the 8 bays. Some scuba diving sites such as Babylon
can be quite thermally warm near the sands. Other sites may have one or several pinnacles. You have to dive some 70 to 80ft before you see the top of a pinnacle and the sides may go down well past the depths of technical divers. There are also walls, canyons and drop-offs.
So, there are over 150 species of fish out here and lots of pelagics at certain scuba diving sites such as wahoo, tarpon, grouper, sharks, and mahi mahi. Hawksbill turtles are common to see out at sea and they also breed on nearby beaches. Occasionally you might see a manta, whale shark, eagle ray, frogfish, or a seahorse. Sea fans, barrel sponges, and corals just add to the image of life below the waves. Saba established a national marine park around the island back in 1987.
Accommodations, Attractions, Activities
Saba has inns, boutique resorts, hotels, and cottages. Beside scuba diving, ecotourists come here to hike, visit the museums, go shopping, and go birding in the Elfin Forest Reserve in the cloud line above 2,707ft on the mountain. There are seven endemic species of birds on Saba. They prefer the high-altitude lands of mountain Mahogany trees. Besides tourists, snorkelers, and divers, the island is home to students attending the Saba School of Medicine. The island is also famous for hand stitched Saba Lace and a rum drink called Saba Spice. Commercial lobster fishing is still done out 2.7 miles on the edge of the Saba Banks. Ferries come and go to neighboring islands, so you can visit these islands too.