Saba & St. Martin
We left the BVI behind on our usual overnight sail. The reason for it is that it is nicer and easier for us to sail overnight when we need to go anywhere that is more then 4h away. We feel like it is nicer for the kids as they aren't stuck on a boat for long periods of time and we don't have to entertain anyone but ourselves on night watches which is also nicer for us.
We left right after dinner and headed for Saba. I had never heard of Saba before seeing it in a magazine that you get for free in Sint Maarten. Saba is part of the kingdom of the Netherlands and is a small little island south of Sint Maarten. It does not have any proper anchorages and is therefore rarely visited by cruisers.
The second I read that and saw the photos I wanted to go, it looked beautiful and tranquil. It is also a marine park with apparently the most beautiful water and sea life. Needless to say we were excited to go, or at least I was.
The sail from the BVI went much faster then expected and we arrived in Saba around 3am. After a quick look around we managed to somehow stumble upon one the 10 moorings available and tied up for a few hours of shut eye.
When we woke up a couple hours later we realized that the wind was too strong to take the dinghy off of the deck safely and put the engine back on. Also the only way to get to land is to go all the way to the south of the island in Fort Bay which would have been a long and wet dinghy ride in these conditions.
After a lot of back and forth about what to do we decided to leave Saba and head to Saint Martin once again where we would wait for a lull in the wind before heading back to Saba.
The nice thing about being back in Saint Martin was that we got to hang out some more with our friends the Salty kisses and the Ventilly crew. As much as I dislike the poop lagoon it is nice for the kiddos to get to hang out with other kids and it is nice for us to get to hang out with like minded parents.
There is also this really nice beach with a little playground lots of kids and two for one beers until 6pm!
While once again in boat fixing paradise we bought some more spare parts and missing bits and took the plunge to redo our hard dodger windows. We couldn’t see anything through the main port side one and we found someone who had already done them for a few other Super Maramu 2000s. We now found ourselves having to take out the old ones, scrape off the goo and get everything ready to install shiny new replacements. By doing all of that ourselves we save some much needed cruising money.
It wasn't long before the weather looked windless enough to go to Saba so we said goodbye once more and set sail.
After a quick sail we picked up a mooring and jumped in the dinghy to head over to Fort Bay.
It took longer then expected to check in as the immigration officer had not arrived yet and we waited until 10am to finally be checked in.
My dad was to take a ferry early next morning so we wanted to make the most of the day and took a taxi up to Windward so we could go and get some money out (the taxi thankfully accepted to take our euros to pay for that trip as we did not have any dollars available).
After waisting more time at the bank we finally had dollars in our pocket and headed out to find some lunch.
Windward is a cute little town and we ended up at a small restaurant in a courtyard where I had the best fish sandwich ever. It was a lion fish and it was delicious. After some much needed lunch we decided to try one of the hikes. We had gone to the tourist office who told us it might be ok to take the stroller on one of the hikes but we might have to lift it a few times to get over rocks...
So off we went in a taxi to the start of the trail. Not two seconds out the taxi my Dad had already found a wild orange tree and was collecting a few oranges with Arthur while I got Ewan ready in the stroller.
After a few minutes of walking on the trail it became obvious we weren't going to be pushing the stroller along it. Granted we also took a wrong turn and headed onto another trail but regardless they had misled us or had never actually been on the trails for a while.
That wrong turn took us up a hill to a beautiful view of the town of Windward.
We turned around and headed back the right way down a beautiful trail that took us all the way to The Bottom. James carried Ewan and my Dad and I carried the stroller in our arms most of the way, although I should admit my Dad did a lot more carrying than I did and Arthur walked the whole entire trail.
We couldn't believe it! No crying or whining just happily walking with us. We couldn't have been more impressed or proud.
Before returning to the boat we took a quick look at the start of The Ladder then headed down to Fort Bay for a well deserved dinner and rest on SeaBean.
Early the next day I took my Dad to Fort Bay to catch a ferry to Saint Martin and we got to see some fisherman packing lobsters in giant bags before putting them on the ferry. They were some of the biggest lobsters I have ever seen.
After going back to the boat and getting the kids ready James and I decided to go and check out the ladder.
The Ladder has been carved on the side of the cliff and use to be the only way to get to The Bottom. It was also up these 800 steps that all goods and anything else needed by the inhabitants was delivered to the island. They had a customs house half way up with a pretty spectacular view.
Instead of taking a taxi we hitched a ride. We had been told the day before that no one on the island uses taxi's you just stick your thumb out and someone will pick you up.
The island only has about 2000 inhabitants and everyone know each other so it is very safe.
The Ladder was a beautiful walk. We stopped once at the customs house as both kids were getting tired but it was worth it. The view, like I said, was stunning and I wondered what it would have been like to be a customs officer here.
After that we walked around The Bottom for a little bit before heading back to the boat for some much needed food and rest.
Thanks to James looking after the kids I also got the chance to go diving in Saba and it was beautiful. The water is crystal clear so you can see far away and since it is a nature reserve there are tons of fish and sea life to look at. I even saw my first seahorse!
The only annoying thing about that dive is that I had borrowed the dive shops bottle so I didn't have to bring my own but didn't realize that theirs were lighter than ours. That meant I spent the whole dive trying to stay at the bottom because I didn't have enough weights, rather than fully enjoying the beauty of my surroundings.
After my dive we decided we would leave early the next day and head down to Saint Kitts where I had found an awesome old sugar train that went around the island, I thought the kids would love it, especially Arthur. Off on some more adventures we went!