Okay, I promised my cousin to stop bringing up rain… but, I will bring up rainbows as we continue to see them.
And, what do you think you find at the end of a rainbow?
[For those of you who are wondering…. yes, it is digital trickery.]
Yes, another sunset. We were again moored with an unobstructed view of the west. And, we were fortunate enough to see the “green flash” each night as the sun set. The “green flash” is what happens just after the sun finally sets. The moment the sun disappears you can sometimes in some situations see a green flash. [Paul’s thought – it is likely a visual perception trick of the absence of the yellowy-orange sunlight). Whatever it is… it’s cool.
So, after the sunset, we woke up the next morning to a stranger phenomenon here – a northwesterly swell. The swell is just waves that have a long period or time between waves. They may be 10 seconds between waves and in this case are about 3 metres or 10 feet high. So, the boat was rolling a fair bit on the mooring but quite safe. The crashing waves were spectacular.
With the northwest swell on our hind quarter, we took off to sail to St. Kitts.
Here is Saba as we left it.
For much of Saba’s history, there was no way to get on to the island. A bit of problem for the people that lived there but great for keeping away those that didn’t. What they ended up doing was to carve out steps into the stone on the leeward side of the island so that when the seas were calm enough to land, they could land there and then climb up the stairs to the Customs House that you can see. And, believe it or not, they had stones and boulders piled on ledges so that if invaders came, they could unleash a torrent of stones on them. A great defense. They even manages to carry a grand piano and a bishop up “the ladder”. <insert your own comment here>
We spent a day touring around Saba. Sara (I think) at the Marine Conservation Society got us in touch with Rodney, an expat South African, who does tours and taxis people around. We had a great 3 hour tour of the island that showcase this wonderful 5 square mile island with about 1900 people living on it. Interestingly enough, about 400 of them are medical students at a private medical school on the island. A bit strange.
There are really no beaches and the land rises straight up out of the water. With only 4 communities on the island an such a small population, everyone at least recognizes everyone. For this reason, there are a lot of community decisions made by consensus. One example is all of the red roofs. There is no law saying they must all be red….. but they are. The island is also very clean, and the people very warm and courteous.
The Saba people are very interested in taking care of their land and water resources. Many of the men in the past were very well regarded mariners and that continues as a part of their heritage. As a community they’ve decided that are going to keep their waters in pristine condition and this almost all the water and coast is a marine park. You are not allowed to anchor except for a couple of spots on the island. So, there are about 15 mooring balls in total to use for boats like ours.
A jewel of an island that is unlike any other that we’ve visited.
No, that is not a beach below, although it looks like it would be awesome.
Here is the coastline that we moored next to the first night we spent at Saba. Just a stunning island.
And, the view from our boat than night.
And, a patriotic twist on the sunset. Caroline and I are very proud to fly the Canadian flag. Legend is registered out of Kingston ON, and as long as she never touches Canadian soil, we’ll never have to pay GST on her. 🙂
Here, we are on our passage from St. Martin to Saba. The passage took about 6 hours. For the first short part of it we were on a run (the winds were from behind). But, then we spent the rest of the voyage heading to wind. I think that Caroline is beginning to wonder when we’re going to actually sail the other way! More on that in another post. On our short run we did end up getting up to 9.5 knots an hour (almost 18 km/hr). That’s likely the fastest we’ve ever sailed Legend.