Location: Ladder Bay, Saba
Ocean Star had a fantastic day today! Our morning started with an adventurous swim to shore in which the crew had to surf the waves into the beach just below the base of the “Ladder.” Before Fort Bay was constructed, the only way onto the island was up the ladder, a series of steep, winding, rocky steps. The Ladder was used for years to bring people, provisions, and goods ashore. If anything came onto Saba, it had to come up the Ladder. Today, a modern dock in Fort Bay makes this process a little easier. Once the crew had dried off a bit and warmed our legs up, we began our own personal trek up the Ladder to a town called Bottom, which is situated at the top of the Ladder. We meandered through Bottom and made our way to Crispeen Track. After about an hour and a half of hiking through the beautiful island jungle, the group split into two.
One group continued on to the highest point on Saba (and in the Netherlands!) called Mount Scenery, while the rest of the group headed down to a nearby town called Windward. The Mount Scenery trail consisted of, not surprisingly, more stairs! The trek, however, was worth it, and we were rewarded with a gorgeous view of the island. Down in Windward, the crew was stocking up on ice cream, cold drinks, and French fries. A few even managed to make it further up the road to visit JoBean’s Bead Shop filled with colorful handmade glass beads (a Sea|Mester favorite). Once all cravings had been satisfied and legs well-rested, the crew began the trip back towards Bottom. Some decided to hike the trail back, while others preferred the local method of transportation: hitch-hiking. A quick, beautiful ride later and a down a few more stairs, the crew was greeted by a welcoming blast of the horn from our beloved Ocean Star. Once back on board, sand and sweat was washed off with quick salt-water showers as we moved into our final passage prep of the semester. This evening after dinner, we will finally set sail back to where it all began: the British Virgin Islands. I am personally very excited to be back in home territory, as the BVI is more my home (and Ocean Star‘s) than anywhere else in the world. The arrival, however, is bittersweet as it marks the beginning of the end. Still, the crew is excited to be back in the very waters we learned to dive and sail only 60 days ago. However, this time, they will be masters of the vessel! It will feel great to have come full circle, and this evening everyone is reminiscing on how far we’ve come and how many goals have been accomplished. Fingers crossed for a smooth and star-filled passage!