30 March 2015

Saba - Dutch Living in the Caribbean

Getting to Saba is an adventure.

Our destination is a steep forbidding coast that feels like an Atlantic outpost on the west of IrelandOur ferry is the so-called Heineken ferry. The ad said it provided “on-board refreshment service”, which turned out to be a cooler of Heineken that slides across the bouncing metal deck along with the waves that pour through. 
We had to move our bags, since waves came across the floor.

No beaches on Saba.
When we arrive (the ferry was an adventure in itself), the customs agent calls us by name. She’s also the property manager of the place we’ve rented. Everyone’s related. There are only 8 passengers. Taxi is driven by a “Lurch” lookalike up a ridiculously steep road, with towns perched WAY up. Saba feels weirdly like being in the Alps - with a Caribbean Dutch flavor.
I didn’t expect people to be speaking Dutch. 
The houses, ours over 150 years old, are incredibly tidy and freshly painted. 
It feels so - peculiarly - Dutch. 
It's comfortable, but just so...odd.

And then: Trying to get to St. Thomas from Saba, we take a taxi down the amazingly steep road to the airport. 
The only airfield on the island has a runway which is only 1200 feet. 300m. 
Trust me, as a pilot - this is REALLY SHORT.

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