30 March 2015

Saba - Dutch Living in the Caribbean

Getting to Saba is an adventure.


Our destination is a steep forbidding coast.
It feels more like an Atlantic outpost than Caribbean. 
A bit like the west of Ireland

See that tiny sailboat? 
Our ferry is the so-called Heineken ferry. 

The ad said it provided “on-board refreshment service”.
This turns out to be a cooler of Heineken.

We had to move our bags, since waves came across the floor.
It slides merrily across the bouncing metal deck with the waves.
The salty waves pour through, too. 

We have to lift our feet.

No beaches on Saba.
When we arrive, (there are only 8 ferry passengers) the customs agent calls us by name. 

She knows who we are. 
Everyone is related. 


She’s also the property manager of the place we’ve rented. 


Saba is beautiful. 
Very different to anywhere we've been.


The road is ridiculously steep, even for the Caribbean.
Towns are perched WAY up.


Saba feels weirdly like being in the Alps. Tropical Alps.

I just didn’t expect people to be speaking Dutch.



The houses are incredibly tidy and freshly painted.
 Ours is over 150 years old,

It feels so - peculiarly - Dutch.


It's comfortable, but just so very...odd.



When we leave for St.Thomas, we take a tiny airplane from a tiny airport. 
The only airfield on the island is stretched out over the water. 
There's no other place to put it.

The runway is only 1200 feet - 300 m - long. 
As a pilot I know - this is a REALLY SHORT runway.


Somehow - it works. They've done it before.

And - off we go. Over the wild blue.


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