Location: Saba

The boat awoke this morning to another strike from the mysterious pillow thief- a few days ago, there was some tomfoolery (coined by Alex) whereby pillows disappeared, and paranoia spread like wildfire amongst the shipmates, with suspicion falling upon everyone. This morning we woke to find that at some point during the night, the dedicated pillow thief left a clever riddle referencing Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Gossip Girl all in one! (Photo attached). The thief forewarned us of another strike in a day’s time, and questions have been raised as to the innocence of everyone on board, including the staff! We’re not so sure who takes too seriously after the Saba bear rouse: upon the briefing of our trip ashore to Saba, we were each given an orange whistle and told to blow it in the event of seeing a bear roaming around nearby on the island. The origin of said bears was supposedly from a crazy Dutchman who founded Saba and kept a zoo.

Despite the initial doubt among the shipmates, we finally accepted the story. We tentatively threw around some ideas on how to survive a potential bear attack while hiking ashore to the main town in Saba. So, this morning, after a hearty breakfast of French toast followed by an oceanography class, half of us stayed aboard to study and go diving while the other half ventured ashore to tackle first a swim off the dinghy before clambering over a very rocky shore, and up The Ladder (an old route up the island passing the old customs house heading to Bottom Town which consists of 500 or so stairs going winding straight up the side of the mountain). Upon arrival in Bottom Town, Aaron promptly led us on toward the Crispeen Trail. Where the trail split, the boys: Aaron, Jake, Dave, and Alex, went on up the mountain to gain their highly acclaimed and internationally renowned Certificate of Achievement for Climbing Mount Scenery, The Highest Point in the Kingdom of The Netherlands. And us girlies, Maddy, Jess, and I, ventured on a much more significant journey to the Windward Side and headed straight for the food. We had a lovely stroll around the town, finding little craft shops and tourist merchandise.

While walking through town, we stopped at the Official Office of Natural Resources and asked about the last time a bear was sighted on Saba, the desk clerk laughed at us and told us we either had the wrong island, or somebody was playing a joke on us. There are no bears on Saba! After a good laugh, we upheld Saban’s customs and hitchhiked back from Windward Side to Bottom Town. (We checked that this was standard practice in a couple of shops and witnessed for ourselves a few trucks passing by with such passengers). Thus, we tentatively stuck out our thumbs, and a lovely driver cleared the back seats of their car to accommodate us and see us safely back. We had a great view on our trek down before we jumped in to swim to the dinghy. Afterward, we celebrated the day with tea! (English style, of course). I’ve been told from the other group that the diving was incredible, and I look forward to doing it myself tomorrow. For now, we have some downtime to finish projects, prepare for finals, and “shark” (the staff says they are just Tarpon, but we’re not so sure), spotting off the side of Ocean Star. Oh, and discussing whom this pillow thief could be! (Personally, my money is on Kris, while others have their bets on Syd and Hannah!).