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A sailor’s advice on Saba – Fly there!

By July 20, 2017Caribbean, Saba & Statia
Saba - Anchorage - Fort Bay
Saba - Anchorage - The Ladder

The Ladder climbs up the cliff. Can you imagine taking all your goods up this way?

While I think Saba is a great destination and well worth a visit (or revisit), I would tell future guest to simply fly there from St Martin. Why? It is because of the available anchorages….or lack of them. You see there are only two around this small and very steep island.

The traditional one is called Ladder Bay on the west coast and is the one I prefer. I found this bay to be comfortable in regular weather (ENE-ESE 15-20 knots) and you can either pick up a mooring or anchor in 40 feet of water. It is called Ladder Bay because the locals built and cut a staircase in the side of the cliff to haul people and goods onto the island from the 1700’s – 1970’s. The problem with this

Saba - Anchorage - Shipwreck

Looking down on the shipwreck that keep Melek up all night.

anchorage is that it is a mile and a half from the port, meaning you will have a wet and rough dinghy ride in almost any weather and there will be times that it is unsafe to do. Also, there have been reports of two of the moorings breaking free. One of them was built for up to 150 or so foot boats and the ship was beached against the rocks right next to the mooring we chose. After inspecting the mooring all the way down I was fine with where we were, but I can truthfully tell you that Melek was concerned. In fact, several times through the night she would pop up and stick her head out the hatch like a gopher and look around to make sure we were still in the same spot. Hehe ????

Saba - Anchorage - Fort Bay

Here you can see the port at Fort Bay and the town of the Bottom above it.

The other anchorage is Fort Bay, right in front of the port. Obviously, you are right there at the port and the dinghy ride in will be quick, but when I was there it would have been a very rough night there. I think this is a reoccurring event regardless of the weather. There are a few moorings available mixed in with the small fleet of 15-25-foot fishing vessels and I am sure you can anchor if you can find a spot among the boats before you are too close to the rocks or in too deep of water.

Saba - Anchorage - Melek & Rabbit

Melek playing with one of the residents.

While I thoroughly enjoyed my day on Saba (as you can tell from the other blogs this week) I would have loved to spend at least one more day ashore walking around one or two of the towns while relaxing and soaking in the atmosphere. The problem is that I just did not want to do the dinghy ride from Ladder Bay again and there was no way I was going to have the boat bucking that much at Fort Bay.

In conclusion, I definitely want to visit Saba again, but next time I will fly over for a few days while I keep the boat in St Martin. I suggest you do the same thing……unless you just have to check off that you sailed your boat to Saba and that I would understand also. ????

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