Location: Saba to BVI
I woke up a little early this morning, incredibly excited about the day ahead. We would finally get the chance to discover Saba, an island that is part of the Dutch Caribbean. Being Dutch myself, I couldn’t wait, especially after having seen Statia and the amazing times we had there. The staff had told me that in Saba, you could climb to the highest point in Holland and get a certificate for climbing the mountain called Mt. Scenery. Of course, I wanted to do that, and after having woken everyone up for breakfast (french toast and yogurt), I asked around to see who would want to come and hike the trail with me. Having been informed at breakfast that the hike from where we would set foot on land to the town (Windward) we were going to was about 1.5 hours and quite steep; nobody seemed incredibly excited to add another hour hike to the top of Mt. Scenery to that.
After finishing our Oceanography lectures and being brought to shore, we started hiking excitedly to Windward (a town on the windward side of the island). We passed through The Bottom, a scenic town at the bottom of the island (starting to notice a pattern here?), and found the trail and left the main road. Although the hike was hard, everyone kept up quite a pace and admired the beautiful views, vegetation, and geologic features we saw on the way. The higher we hiked up the island, the more everything started to look like a jungle. After about 1.5 hours, we came to a split in the trail called the Bus-stop, which, as you might suspect at this point, used to be a bus stop. We were faced with a decision, either go straight and hike for another 5 minutes to get to Windward or go left and hike Mt. Scenery. After this morning’s reaction, I was quite certain I’d have to go up there by myself, but eight people decided to brave the mountain with me! I was super happy that when we were presented with a chance like this, most of us couldn’t contain our curiosity even though we might be exhausted. And I’m grateful that it has been a recurring theme this entire voyage. It has caused us to see amazing sights and experience incredible things.
We played music, laughed, and sweated (a lot) while going up the mountain. It was a beautiful clear, sunny day in Saba, which also means that it felt like a thousand degrees while going up. Luckily for us, we were rewarded with the most beautiful view on the top of Mt. Scenery and a very welcome breeze. Mt. Scenery is 877 meters high (which is over 500 meters higher than the highest point in the Netherlands itself). The feeling of having hiked from sea level to this height was dazzling and surrounded by puffy clouds; someone made the joke that we literally had our heads in the clouds. After having rested and taken in the view, we chipperly headed back down. What had taken us an hour to hike up took us less than 20 minutes to get down. I can honestly say I love gravity.
As we walked into Windward, I quickly popped into the trail store and got myself a certificate before getting some lunch. Others decided to walk up to Jo Bean’s, where the owner of the store helps you blow a glass bead and, in that way, create unique and beautiful jewelry. Having hitchhiked back to the bay in the back of a pickup truck, we quickly showered Ocean Star style and got the yacht passage ready. We were about to undergo our final overnight passage, and although excited, we wouldn’t have to struggle through another night of 4 hours on, 4 hours off anymore. It also brought with it the realization that the trip was slowly coming to an end.
Having dinner for the last time all together, underway back to the BVI’s, we were blessed with a clear starry sky, and this concluded the overnight passages of our trip beautifully.