|s/y Nine of Cups
The Leeward Islands - Saba & St. Eustatius
|Saba Facts (pronounced SAY-ba)
Area: 5 square miles
Capital: The Bottom
Language: Dutch (English is widely spoken)
Currency: Dutch Antilles Guilder and US$
Inhabitants are called Sabans.
Highest point: Mt. Scenery (3,084’)
Nickname: “Unspoiled Queen”
Saba and St.Eustatius are both part of the
|Arriving at Saba from St. Maarten was like cruising into a fairy tale. Saba appears to be one big
mountain, emerging from the sea…continually clothed in a mist. In actuality, it is the peak of a
volcano that rises sharply from the ocean floor. Because it is so high, clouds are trapped at the
summit, supporting a tropical rain forest. Locals refer to these as "islands that touch the clouds".
Saba is called the “Unspoiled Queen” because of her natural respect for nature. A marine park
which encompasses the entire island was formed in 1987 which regulates fishing and all activity.
Moorings are available for cruisers at a very low rate: $3/person/ week. A good idea since the
island is steep to and anchoring is not easy due to water depth of 50’ very close to shore.
|We climbed the well-marked path to the top of Mt. Scenery which, at 3,084’, is not only the highest
point on Saba, it is the highest peak in the Kingdom of the Netherlands! It was an interesting hike.
There are 1,064 steps carved from stone which lead up the mountain as well as some dirt
foothpaths. Of course, once we got up there, we had to hike back down those 1,064 steps. Our
aching legs, knees and ankles!
|We met Garvis Hessell when we came ashore
who offered to take us on a tour of the island.
|Switchbacks were really necessary. It was all
UP or all DOWN and not much in between.
|Saba's airport boasts the shortest runway
in the world for an international airport
|Panorama of the windward side of the island.
|The capital city, Bottom, is really up!
|Surinam cherry trees were
bountiful and we munched quite a
few as we passed by.
|We spotted these red-bellied racer snakes on a
little sidetrip hike. They're endemic to Saba and
|While having lunch in Bottom, we met Zettie, Miss
Saba 2001-2002. Photo above: Miss Saba 2002
and Miss Nine of Cups...Forever!
|Sint Eustatius (Statia)
|St. Eustatius or Statia Facts
(You-STAY-sha or STAY-sha)
Area: 12 square miles
Language: Dutch, Spanish, and English
Currency: Dutch Antilles Guilder & US$
Inhabitants are called Statians.
Highest point: The Quill (1970’)
Nickname: “Historic Gem”
|From Saba, a quick 20 mile motor sail to
had us anchored off Statia. We’d visited
Statia before back in 1997 so our visit
was short. We climbed Statia’s highest
mountain, The Quill, when we visited last
time and found no compelling reason to
do it again.
|Our view of Statia from the anchorage in Oranjebaai (Orange Bay). The cliffs are sheer
limestone and Ft. Oranje overlooks the harbor. Ft. Oranje was built by the French in 1629
and enlarged and named by the Zeelanders in 1636. “The Quill” is to the right.
|Statia's highest mountain, The Quill, is an
inactive volcano. Here viewed from the
anchorage and as we were departing Statia.
|Unfortunately, all of our photos from our visit to Statia other than these few were lost...a
large whale... no a shark...yeah a shark...a whale-shark ate our camera OR operator
error. Not sure which. Steps have been taken to keel haul those at fault.
|Next stop, the tiny independent country of
St. Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis.
Of course, you're invited to come with us.