Location: Saba, Netherlands Antilles
What a day!!! After a wake up to intense thematic music, the crew was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready for an amazing day of action and adventure. We were served some yummy yogurt and some pleasing and beautiful plantain bread crafted by our head chef Dana. We had a busy day scheduled, but before we started, a few of us ended up in the water to check out the cute little Caribbean reef sharks swimming below Argo. We then divided into two groups. My group would be climbing Saba, truly from sea to summit. The other group would be doing some of the best diving in the Caribbean with Sea Saba. At around 0900, my group was dinghied over to the island for a VERY wet storming of the beaches where we then proceeded to climb the Ladder. The Ladder was once the only way onto Saba and is a steep staircase carved out of the cliff face. Hundreds of feet later into the air, we came to the first town named Bottom. From the bottom of the Bottom, we scaled the island. The vegetation became increasingly dense and resembled a Jurassic jungle the higher we got. By the time we had reached the top of Mt Scenery, we had climbed 2,887ft. Above the sea on one of the steepest hikes Ive ever done.
Soaked in sweat and wobbly-legged, we worked our way down to the town of Windward. There we found some good dogs and fun shops. We even walked our way up another steep slope to get to Jo Bean Glassworks. There CJ was adopted as her new grandson, and we all found beautiful trinkets, and some of us even got to make glass beads with Grandma JoJos guidance. It was then time to head back to Argo, but needless to say, we were pretty far from our pickup point, and we decided to get back in the most efficient way possible: hitchhiking. If youve ever wondered what the difference is between a car ride and a roller coaster, we found the middle ground. All 11 of us piled into the back of a pick-up truck where we then rocketed up and down slopes and whipped around corners like Mario on Rainbow Road. All of us (minus Taits sunnies) made it safely down to the real bottom.
Picked up by Smash and Tim, we raced back to Argo in an equally roller-coastery dinghy ride. This time soaked in seawater, we climbed back onto Argo feeling satiated with adventure. There we learned that the other group had the best diving of the trip. Descending to 80ft, they encountered HUGE Caribbean spiny lobsters, two species of sea turtle, the most beautiful corals and fishies theyve ever seen, and at least seven big ole sharks! After dinner, Jake, Jonas, Amanda, and I were so excited about the sharks that the four of us jumped into the water armed with snorkels and flashlights to see if we could find any more. I was a little nervous that something might take a nibble out of me, and I was right. No sharks took the bait, but we were swarmed and attacked by tons of zooplankton. They were so dense that they clouded our lights and covered our skin. Now that I have rinsed off thoroughly, I have concluded that today was a pretty special day ending with the whole crew excited for tomorrow.
To my family: I mmmm dreamingggg of a Caribbbeaaaan Christmassss!!! I love you guys, and Ill see you soon. Be sure to bring appropriate sun protection!!! 🙂
Pictured: CJ and Sydney looking for a ride, Andrew at the very top of Saba, Ian and Grandma JoJo making a bead, The hiking group mean muggin’ (Matthew, CJ, Tait, Dan, Amy, Sydney, Lexy, Ben, James, Ian, and Andrew), Amy reaching the top of the Ladder, A view of Bottom from halfway up.