I will survive | Saba after Hurricane IRMA
Updated: Mar 29
We knew Saba claimed to have some fantastic scuba diving spots like ‘Diamond Rock’, ‘the needle’, ‘Man O' War Shoals’, ‘Outer Limits’, ‘Third Encounter’ and many more mind blowing underwater pinnacles. So in early 2017 we booked 5 days for scuba diving Saba and combined this with three weeks on St Martin. But then Hurricane Irma changed our initial itinerary when it raged over the island of St Martin in early September 2017.
As Irma completely destroyed our accommodation on St Martin, we now decided to stay 2 weeks on the ‘unspoiled queen of the Caribbean’ instead of just 5 days. And are we glad we did this!
It is now December 2017 and after some days getting familiar with our new surroundings on Saba, we went out to meet up with Lynn Costenaro the owner of Sea Saba www.seasaba.com. But Lynn was in dire straits as most scuba divers cancelled their trips to the island of Saba due to lack of flights coming in to St Martin. We were probably the only vacational scuba divers on the island. But still Lynn Costenaro was going to make sure we were shown the best scuba diving Saba had to offer, as she has made Saba her home since 1989 and knows exactly what to do in those situations.
On the 25th of November we went out to a dive location called “Hot springs” with Aaron the captain of the Sea Saba dive boat. And even though the dive was quite shallow for Saba standards it was still very impressive knowing that the most devastating hurricane on history passed this area just over 2 months ago. Yes we saw some damage underwater but the reef itself was still in perfect condition. Filled with large schools of tarpons, the local stingrays and the odd porcupine swimming by every now and then. Saba was really giving us scuba divers an idea of how resilient an underwater marine eco system can be.
On the 29th of November Aaron took us to this underwater pinnacle called ‘The twilight zone”. A very impressive reef that sharply plummets with a dramatic drop offs. We enter the water with a giant leap and then slowly descend towards the to of the reef. This dive turned out to be so impressive that I literally cannot put into words what a sensation it is to venture into the big blue like that. The depth, the isolation, the lack of other dive boats and the presence of sharks all the time. All this makes that we could now understand what makes this place so special.
And after the safety stop and more than one-hour surface interval on the boat, Aaron took us to the next site. Our second dive was going to be at “Man O' War Shoals”. And once again the scuba diving was very impressive due to the presence of a very healthy marine environment. A very healthy marine environment full of sharks, eagle rays, tarpons, turtles, lobsters and lots more. Really happy and filled with lots of beautiful impressions, we headed back to our little Saba cottage for a cup of tea under the stars on our balcony. Still with vivid visions of our great dives.
The 30th of November was our last day of scuba diving. That day divespots “Customs house” and “Tent Shallow” were on the agenda. As every day we were picked up at our cottage and taxied to the harbour to get on the dive boat. Here we were once again greeted by Aaron and Vicky: the daily crew of Sea Saba.
You probably heard of the phrase ‘save the best for last’. Well that is exactly what we could say regarding our dives on the last day. Those two dives were absolutely perfect. With a lot of marine life and to finish it all of Aaron found the very first seahorse since they all disappeared due to Hurricane Irma. We could have stayed and watch that little orange seahorse for hours. He actually did not move as he thought we could not see him. Little did he know that this camouflage thing only works with adults. And this little guy was still a juvenile. How hilarious.
We really want to emphasize that scuba diving Saba is still beautiful and worthwhile. Hurricane Irma did not destroy the entire marine environment of Saba at all. We saw this with our own eyes! A big shout out to Lynn Costenaro of Sea Saba for making sure we got to dive those fantastic Saba divespots during the course of our stay.
Keep Saba strong #sabastrong