Location: Saba

Seventy days into the trip, and yet we have to add another highlight to our journals: Diving Saba! The island has the reputation of being one of the world’s most renowned places for SCUBA diving. Volcanic activity has created the highest mountain in the Dutch Kingdom on a small island, over 900m high, and surrounded by steep coasts that drop almost vertically into the deep ocean drawing abundant and diverse oceanic life to its shores. A nearby seamount surrounded by waters over one thousand feet deep that has been found to be frequented by different species of sharks, as well as a wall dive dropping off to a similar depth within a short distance from shore, were on our diving agenda for today. While half of the group practiced the navigational arts and compiled final papers for their oceanography and leadership classes, the other half stepped aboard a local dive boat and set out to explore the underwater world. In the afternoon, the groups switched. Caribbean Reef Sharks, countless Hawksbill and Green Turtles, friendly Nassau Groupers, Nurse Sharks, and Garden Eels were observed and added to the Marine Biology Field ID Logbook, among many other organisms. Most divers had their first encounter with a shark in the water and could observe them gracefully gliding over the reef, yet another experience to add to the sheer endless list of adventures on this trip!