Location: Saba

We kicked off the day today with some fluffy pancakes prepared by chef Matthew and his team. We prepared our bags and packed lunches for our exploration of Saba and were offered two modes of travel to shore, a wet landing or a dry landing. The wet landing featured being dropped by dinghy near the rocky shore followed by an ascent up “the Ladder,” a famous 800-stair, a zig-zagging path up the face of the mountain. From what I hear, Brit struggled to keep even his dry bag dry and went completely underwater in his attempt to get to shore. I joined others for the dry landing on a dock in nearby Fort Bay. My small dinghy group, Matt, Kennedy, Ridge, and I, realized we might have made a mistake after the first ten minutes of walking up the 25% gradient incline until a nice man in a pickup offered us a ride. We spent some time in a nice park in town (they have really pretty playgrounds here) and made some late Thanksgiving phone calls to our families after not having service for the past few days. We ran into Jon, Brit, and Joseph up the road at the grocery store, and they convinced Kennedy and me to join them for the steep hike up to the top of Mt Scenery. At the top, we had more breathtaking views (seems to be a theme of this trip) and made a couple of new friends. On the way down we bumped into Carolyn, Nate, Matthew, and Jill, who also reached the summit.

After making our way back down to the windward side, we headed over to a shop highly recommended by Ocean Star staff. It seemed that everyone we talked to in town knew her name, Jo Bean, the glass lady. Exhausted from our morning hike, we were dreading another long walk up to her shop. Luckily, the people of Saba are some of the nicest we have met in the Caribbean. We were quickly picked up in another truck-bed and dropped at Jo Bean’s place. Entering, we noticed Ridge sitting behind a propane torch, super focused on his glass molding. It seemed Jo Bean had already found a new assistant in Ridge. We were shown a demonstration by Jo Bean, who effortlessly molded a small frog out of glass rods. We then picked out a few nice pieces of hers – she said I picked one of her favorite works – and headed over to a restaurant she had recommended to us for our second lunch. On the way out, I heard Jo Bean yell at Ridge to tidy up the tables as there were new customers arriving! I’m surprised we got Ridgeback on board at all. For our way back, I wanted to try the wet entry this time, down the Ladder, much to Brit’s dismay. Everyone found it very fun except Brit, who sustained a few minor injuries on the rocks. We had a fantastic dinner consisting of Thanksgiving leftovers and are about to present our group research projects in a moment.
It’s been a crazy ride aboard Ocean Star and an experience I’ll never forget.

It’s been real,
Steffen Refvik

Pictures: Brit, Joseph, Steffen, Kennedy, and Jon at the top of Mt. Scenery; Ridge learning how to make glass beads at Jo Bean’s shop; Carolyn’s view from the top; Ocean Star in Ladder Bay; Carolyn on the hike; Jon, Kennedy, and Brit enjoying the greenery; a view of Ocean Star from the Ladder; view of the surrounding towns from Mt. Scenery; enjoying a rest in the playground.