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Dive Review of Sea Saba/Hummingbird House in
Saba/Near St Maarten

Sea Saba/Hummingbird House, Jun, 2010,

by Mark Thorne, NC, US (Contributor Contributor 13 reports). Report 5581.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Most of Caribbean
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 84 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Max of 110 feet. Free to following dive guide or do your own thing.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments They assist as much or as little with you UWP gear as needed.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments To see my Saba dive vacation video in 2 parts, copy and paste the following addresses in your brower: Saba in HD Part 1 = www.vimeo.com/13319030 & Saba in HD part 2 = www.vimeo.com/13350224

The Island: Of all the beautiful Caribbean destinations, Saba ranks at the top. This small island is the top of a mountain/volcano pushing straight up out of the ocean and as such, almost everywhere you find yourself, you are looking down over a beautiful vista with the ocean far down below you. Additionally, this is a Dutch island and the Dutch go to great strides to keep their place clean and neat. In fact, I think Saba is about the cleanest, most picturesque places in the Caribbean.

Getting There: The old saying Getting there is half the adventure is very true in the case of Saba. From St Maarten, you can get there by ferry which is about an hour or so on a sometimes stomach-turning seas or you can do a 15 minute or so flight by plane. I definitely recommend flying because it is an experience. The runway on Saba boasts to be the shortest commercial runway in the world and this becomes evident with the dramatic hard banking turn just before landing.

The Accommodations: My small group stayed at an enchanted villa called the Hummingbird House which is situated about an 8 minute hilly walk into the town of Windwardside. I did some investigations into other cottages, hotels, and villas around Windwardside and found almost all of them to be great places to stay. There are beautiful vistas on every turn so I would not sweat it if a specific accommodation does not have that perfect view because such a view will be found almost everywhere you ride or walk.

Getting Around: A pleasant surprise on Saba was the 25 minute taxi ride from our villa to the boat dock. Before going to Saba, I had a mild dread of having to take a long ride on winding roads before diving. However, as it turned out, the taxi ride to and from the dive boat was one my favorite times. The views where so gorgeous that I could never get enough. As is the case in everything in Saba, the taxi ride itself is a great adventure.

The Food: I was very impressed and delighted at how many really good places there are to eat on Saba. Additionally, the grocery stores there have almost anything you desire at a reasonable cost.
The People: At the core of what makes Saba a great place to spend a vacation is the genuinely friendly people on the island. The smiles and greetings from the Sabaean folks are real, inviting, and refreshing.

The Dive Operation: Lynn runs Sea Saba like a well-oiled machine. I have never witnessed such an organized group of folks that works so hard to make sure the customers are enjoying themselves. Every need seems to have been proactively considered. For example, dive gearSea Saba handles your gear as much or as little as the diver desires. They store your stuff on the boat so no need to haul the mess up and down the mountain. Lynn or a Sea Saba staff greets you every day on the taxi ride to and from the dive dock to make sure you know any scoop of where to eat or what activities are going on that night. Also, we really enjoyed all of the dive staff that was on our boat especially Steve and Amy. The dive staff takes safety and having an enjoyable dive seriously and all of equipment and boat are in top form.

The Diving: The boat ride is always very exciting because of the dramatic views of the sheer rock against the ocean. Such cool and awesome vantage points make this a very special experience. Below the water, the coral is in the best shape I have seen. There are enormous sponges and stunning colorful hard and soft corals everywhere. Of the 15 dives I made on this trip, I saw very little algae that are so endemic throughout the area. And although I did not see a large amount of fish, the fish present are in large variety with most being small to medium sizes.

Saba tends to heavily advertise its deep pinnacle dives to the point that before I got there, I wondered if there was anything to see above 100 feet. To my delight, I found the medium to shallower dives to be the most exciting because of diverse variety and beauty. The deep pinnacle dives are cool and adventurous, but your time is brief so you never really get to relax on such dives. Whereas the medium/shallow dives are easy going with ample time to kick back and take in the scenery.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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