It’s easy to fall into the pace of island life. You’ll receive a warm welcome from the people of Saba (Population 1,800), people who have not forgotten the benefit of a friendly greeting, which makes wandering through a charming Saban village all the more enjoyable. Idyllic gingerbread houses and well-kept gardens resonate the pride the people of Saba feel for their island. There are no highrises, no traffic lights, no casinos, no cruise ships….and no beaches.
Culture & History
Because of Saba’s precipitous terrain, settling was difficult and left for the hardy and the adventurous. Having been under English, French, Spanish and Dutch rule for many years, peace came with the Dutch Crown in 1816. The cultures of the variety of settlers are now uniquely blended into a hard-working people. Their history of farming, fishing and seamanship account for their keen knowledge of their nature. Many locals are well travelled and well educated; conversations are easy and interesting. The Saba museums house many artifacts and photographs which tell the stories of settling this remote island with its dramatic landscape.
Everyone speaks English, although Dutch is the official language.
Daytime temperature on Saba averages 80°F., give or take a few degrees. Easterly trade winds and the mountain create ever changing cloud movements. Winter evenings often require a light sweater. Temperatures will always be cooler on the top of Mt. Scenery.
Saba offers year-round diving with seasonal differences in water temperature and surface conditions. Winter months bring cooler water temperatures ranging from 77° to 80° Fahrenheit, whereas summer months yield a toasty 80° to 85 Fahrenheit. Nature itself insures a variety of different marine activities and aquatic visitors throughout the year. The Saba Marine Park now boasts more than 30 permanently moored dive sites.
Saba’s volcanic origins have blessed her waters with spectacular formations and structural diversity. From shallow patch reefs to deep water seamounts, Saba offers interesting diving at each depth and for every diver’s experience level. The Saba Marine Park (“SMP”) was established in 1987. One of the few self-sustaining marine parks worldwide, it’s important to note that it was not established to help repair a damaged environment and ecosystem, but rather to safeguard and ensure the continued quality of an extraordinary resource.
One of Saba’s attractions is that there is a wide range of sites without the need for long boat rides. We use “Sea Saba”, a PADI 5 star resort. Their boats are just the right size, so that they are not restricted by mooring usage but are large enough to handle most any conditions. There is more to Saba than just the famous pinnacle dives. When conditions permit, know that the experienced crew will be ready to show you as much variety as possible. The island’s windwardside offers a completely different underwater topography with often-times superior visibility and different species of marine life than the leeward sites. This is not to say that any area is better, but if you have a week, you should see everything you can. And for those who really want something different, ask about Sea Saba’s ‘muck dives’.
Before you leave her shores you will have experienced the true beauty and community of Saba, made new friends and, like many others before you, a return visit will be the only thing on your mind… So if you have a yearning for a different vacation, consider nothing less than Saba.