Saba in the Caribbean

Saturday, 25 February 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, Environment
Reading Time:  6 minutes

View of Windwardside from Mount Scenery © Radioflux/cc-by-sa-3.0

View of Windwardside from Mount Scenery © Radioflux/cc-by-sa-3.0

Saba is a Caribbean island and the smallest special municipality (officially “public body“) of the Netherlands. It consists largely of the active volcano Mount Scenery, which at 887 metres (2,910 ft) is the highest point of the entire Kingdom of the Netherlands. The island lies in the northern Leeward Islands portion of the West Indies, southeast of the Virgin Islands. Together with Bonaire and Sint Eustatius it forms the BES islands.

Saba has a land area of 13 square kilometres (5.0 sq mi). The population was 1,911 in January 2022, with a population density of 147 inhabitants per square kilometre (380/sq mi). It is the smallest territory by permanent population in the Americas. Its towns and major settlements are The Bottom (the capital), Windwardside, Zion’s Hill and St. Johns.

The tourism industry now contributes more to the island’s economy than any other sector. There are about 15,000 visitors each year. Saba has a number of inns, hotels, rental cottages and restaurants. Saba is known as the “Unspoiled Queen” of the Caribbean. Saba is especially known for its ecotourism, having exceptional scuba diving, climbing and hiking. The Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport offers flights to and from the nearby islands of St. Maarten and Sint Eustatius. There is also a ferry service from St. Maarten; the ferry boats “Dawn II ~ The Saba Ferry” and “The Edge” both travel to Saba three times a week. In addition, there are anchorages for private boats. About 150 species of fish have been found in Saba’s waters. A main draw for divers are the pinnacle dive sites, where magma pushed through the sea floor to create underwater towers of volcanic rock that start at about 300 feet (91 m) down and rise to about 85 feet (26 m) beneath the surface. The waters around Saba were designated as the Saba National Marine Park in 1987, and are subject to government regulation to preserve the coral reefs and other marine life. Since 1991 the Saba Conservation Foundation has operated a hyperbaric chamber in case of diving emergencies.

Saba with Mount Scenery'speak in the clouds © flickr.com - Richie Diesterheft/cc-by-sa-2.0 Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport © Fyodor Borisov/cc-by-sa-3.0 Queen of The Holy Rosary Church in Zions Hill © flickr.com - Richie Diesterheft/cc-by-sa-2.0 Government House © flickr.com - Photocapy/cc-by-sa-2.0 View of Windwardside from Booby Hill © Carl Pruneau/cc-by-sa-3.0 View of Windwardside from Mount Scenery © Radioflux/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Queen of The Holy Rosary Church in Zions Hill © flickr.com - Richie Diesterheft/cc-by-sa-2.0
There is one main road, known as “The Road“. Its construction was masterminded by Josephus Lambert Hassell who, contrary to the opinion of Dutch and Swiss engineers, believed that a road could be built. He took a correspondence course in civil engineering and started building the road with a crew of locals in 1938. In 1943, the first section of the road from Fort Bay to The Bottom was completed. In 1947, the first motor vehicle arrived. In 1951, the road to Windwardside and St. Johns was opened. In 1958, the road was completed. Driving “The Road” is considered to be a daunting task, and the curves in Windwardside are extremely difficult to negotiate. Driving is on the right hand side. The speed limit in towns is 20 kilometres per hour (12 mph), and outside of towns, is 40 kilometres per hour (25 mph). In 1963, Saba residents built the Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport. This 400-metre (1,300 ft) landing strip is reputed to be the shortest commercial runway in the world, and is restricted. Only trained pilots flying small STOL airliners, such as the Twin Otter and the Britten-Norman Islander may land there, as well as helicopters. In 1972, a pier was completed in Fort Bay to access the island. Travel is also provided by ferry services to and from Sint Maarten with the Makana and The Edge ferries. Of note are 800 steps carved from stone, known as “The Ladder”, which reach from Ladder Bay to the settlement known as The Bottom. Until the late 20th century, everything that was brought to the island in boats and ships was carried up by hand using these steps. The steps are now often used by tourists who wish to experience an intense climb.

The lifestyle on Saba is generally slow with little nightlife, even with the emergence of an ecotourism industry in the last few decades. Sabans are proud of their history of environmental conservation, calling Saba “The Unspoiled Queen”. Saban women continue to make two traditional island products, Saba Lace and Saba Spice. Saba Lace is hand-stitched lace, which the island’s women began making in the late 19th century and built into a thriving mail-order business with the United States. Saba Spice is a rum drink, brewed with a combination of spices. As in other Caribbean locations, Sabans throw an annual Carnival. Saba’s Carnival takes place the last week in July and includes parades, steel bands, competitions, and food. Another event held in the capital The Bottom is ‘Saba Day’. This is the national day of the island in which all offices, schools and stores are closed. The island celebrates its diversity and culture through various activities and parades. The Bottom holds host to a concert at the sports field where local and other Caribbean artists come to perform. A wahoo fishing tournament is also held during Saba Day and attracts boats from neighboring islands such as St. Maarten, St. Eustatius, and St. Barths (Culture of Saba).

Lesen Sie mehr auf Wikivoyage Saba und Wikipedia Saba (Sicher Reisen - Die Reiseapp des Auswärtigen Amtes - Wetterbericht von wetter.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Fotos von Wikimedia Commons. Wenn Sie eine Anregung, Kritik oder einen Hinweis zu dem Beitrag haben, freuen wir uns auf Ihre E-Mail an kommentar@wingsch.net. Nennen Sie dazu im Betreff bitte die Überschrift des Blogbeitrags, auf den sich Ihre E-Mail bezieht.




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