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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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October 2019    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 34, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Sea Saba, Saba, Dutch Antilles, Caribbean

a delightful village, still pristine diving

from the October, 2019 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Dear Fellow Diver,

One of the first tourist factoids you learn about Saba is that the island's airport has the shortest commercial runway in the world (and it scares the bejesus out of lots of travelers). You also learn that the five-square-mile island is an extinct volcano rising from the sea, with no beaches, one road (The Road), and U.S. dollars are the currency. Most activities are centered in the picturesque town of Windwardside, with its lovely red-roofed white cottages with green shutters and white-picket-fenced yards and gardens. As it turns out, it was close to a perfect week with but one tiny hiccup, probably not even worth mentioning, but I will: our assigned taxi driver for pick-up from the airport failed to show, but it was quickly remedied when another driver shuttled me up the hill.

The island of Saba in the Dutch AntillesJuliana's is a hillside collection of traditional Saban-style structures connected by open wooden stairs and decks straddling a narrow lane in Windwardside, with two suites, three cottages, and a dozen or so ocean or tropical garden view rooms -- even the chef has a garden. The hotel pool, with its huge flamingo and swan plastic floats and a stuffed toy pig collection, is across the road from the rooms and between the café and bar. We had the hotel's top-level Mango Suite, named after the large mango tree outside our spacious covered deck, and a mural of mangos on the free-standing bedroom headboard wall. We had a living room and kitchenette cooled by AC or ceiling fans under the vaulted ceilings, a glass-walled stone shower, pedestal sinks, wicker furniture, and a built-in closet. When it's part of a ten-tank dive package for $1410/person, breakfast and nitrox included, you know you have a deal.

After check-in, we walked through town to Sea Saba's dive shop, up a steep hill, as is everything. Co-owner Lynn Costenero checked our c-cards as we signed forms and checked out their spacious shop with a large stock and selection of scuba items and adventure gear. John Magor, her husband, is a Brit and Lynn is originally from Indiana; they have been on Saba since 1989. She pretty much stays in the shop running things. He is a cutler, and the next-door shop sells John's top-notch knife creations....

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