Brad, Dan and Scott's Sailing Adventure

"There she is boys! The SS More Powerful than Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and the Incredable Hulk combined." This space will be used to post updates of our odyssey.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Islands That Scrape the Clouds

With our newly repaired sail, we left St. Martin for the tiny island of Saba. Saba is a remote, volcanic island 25 miles south of St. Martin. The island itself is surrounded by depths of 2000 feet of ocean and towers 3000 feet above sea level. Despite being only 5 square miles (less than half the size of my hometown, Needham), it's tall enough to touch the clouds.

The island immediately made a positive impression on us as we cleared through customs and immigration. Our "customs officer" was a young man with a backwards baseball hat who seemed to be far more interested in setting up his fantasy baseball roster than in checking our exit papers from our last port (which, of course, we didn't have).

We walked down to a local sandwich place for lunch. It's amazing that on an island so remote that unique species of lizards, snakes and plants have evolved, so small that there is not a single beach on the island, and so steep that it seemed like only the most sure-footed mountain goat would want to live here, there is wireless internet at the local shop.

Clearly, the most important thing that we needed to do here was get to the top of the volcano (dormant, allegedly). The next morning, we beached the dinghy on the breaking rocks. We climbed 400 steps on a 30 minute hike that brought us to about 1000 feet at which point we reached a village ironically named "The Bottom". From there we hitchhiked to the opposite side of the island where we entered another trail that took us straight to the top. Needless to say, the hike was hard and the view was great. The top really does scrape the clouds but a substantial amount of visibility was lost upon summitting. The pictures do not fully capture the view, but check them out. There's a link on the right side.

Saba, despite it's size, actually has a medical school of 200 students. We had our blood pressure taken (105/80, by the way) and talked with a few students. Mostly, they were surprised that we had ever heard of the island. Apparently they don't get many tourists. Later, at a bar, I overheard a conversation where Brad and I were referred to as "medical students drinking presidentes". We didn't correct him.

Leaving Saba was not as fun as being in Saba. I'll spare you the details, but the trip to Statia was a very long 16 miles. Which is where we are now.