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By No owner — last modified Aug 16, 2017 04:06 PM

 Saba - Profile

Facts

  • Although Saba was hit by both hurricane Irma and Maria in September 2017, the island has recovered quickly and all essential services are up and running.
  • Saba is now part of the Kingdom of The Netherlands and was originally settled by small groups of Dutch, Scottish and English people, together with a few from Africa.
  • This small Caribbean island lies about 25nm NW of Statia.
  • An extinct volcano, only 2 miles (3 km) in diameter, Saba rises sheer out of the sea up to 3084 ft (940 m).
  • Saba is unique in that its entire coast is a protected marine park. There are no beaches, but the underwater scenery is remarkable.
  • A permanent mooring buoy system has been placed within the Saba National Marine Park for specific users and there are strict anchoring rules.
  • There are two designated anchorage zones within the Saba National Marine Park: one between Ladder Bay and Wells Bay (west side) and one in front of the Fort Bay Harbour (east side).
  • Entry formalities have to be completed first at Fort Bay, which offers better protection in strong NE winds, while the other anchorage is more sheltered in SE winds.
  • The construction of the airport, the road to the harbour in Fort Bay, and later a pier, has brought in tourism on a small scale.
  • It is advisable to self-sufficient when visiting Saba as getting ashore is not always easy. See Yachting Essentials for more information.

Security

Based on reports to Noonsite from cruisers, petty theft from yachts is on the rise in the Caribbean in general. Cruisers should take basic safety precautions and use common sense when leaving the boat or going ashore at night. Dinghy thieves operate throughout the Caribbean and best advice is to place your dinghy on deck and chain it overnight.

The Caribbean Safety and Security Net (safetyandsecuritynet@gmail.com) provides information by anchorage or by island, so sailors can plan their cruising in the Caribbean with an eye to appropriate behaviour and precautions wherever they decide to go. Should you have suffered a boarding, robbery or attack on your yacht or have information about a yachting-related security incident, go to the CSSN homepage and click on the "Report an Incident" icon. The associated form is quick and simple to complete and ensures that all the necessary details are reported. The CSSN is the most comprehensive source of Caribbean security incidents against sailors. Remember, it is every cruiser's responsibility to ensure that incidents are reported. Also cruisers can subscribe to e-mail alerts, follow on facebook and twitter and listen to the SSB Voice Service.

Also be sure to check the Noonsite Piracy & Safety Pages

Weather

Daytime temperature on Saba averages 80°F., give or take a few degrees. Easterly trade winds and the mountain create some cloud.

Meteorological Department Curaçao (MDC)
Provides weather services for Curacao, Bonaire, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten and Saba, within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

http://www.antiguamet.com/
Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Office providing public weather forecasts for Antigua & Barbuda, the Leeward Islands and the BVIs.

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.

Main Ports

Fort Bay (Fort Baai) * , Well's and Ladder Bays

* indicates port of entry

Kelly Ran
Kelly Ran says:
Jan 16, 2019 10:52 PM

See this link for mooring maps: https://www.sabaport.com/yacht-moorings

About half of the moorings in Ladder's and Wells Bays were missing as of early Jan 2018. I think we were on mooring P, which is farther out than it seems from shore. Mooring G is definitely the best sheltered. Definitely take a look around the mooring field to understand the mooring locations. (Also the balls are pretty small so you'll need to get up close to locate them.) Make sure that you run your own rode through the mooring pendant; the marine park is trying to prevent chafing of their mooring lines.

We used the Anchor Pro app and kept one phone with the boat at all times.

The marine park people said that mooring overnight at Fort Bay was not recommended at all (but you can take your "big boat" there during the day, if your tender cannot traverse the sometimes treacherous 2 nm from Wells Bay to Fort Bay).

Mooring at Wells Bay was mostly comfortable but rolly at night. Wind speeds were roughly 12 knots or less. Would not recommend going to Saba if the forecast calls for any higher than that.

We found it impossible to land our dinghy at Wells Bay or Ladder Bay, so we took it to Fort Bay every day. We have an inflatable that did just fine. We were lucky to catch a weather window with little swell. Make sure you have enough dinghy fuel when you arrive. If you need to fill up a tank, there is a gas station at Fort Bay -- take the road heading east and walk up the slope. The fuel station is at the top of the slope.

Taxis: you can get a list of taxi operators at the marine park office. Hitchhiking also works.

Must-dos: hiking the Ladder, hiking Mount Scenery, scuba diving, snorkeling. You can moor your tender to the diving mooring balls as long as you vacate the mooring if an actual dive boat shows up. Wells Bay and Torrens Point have great snorkeling.

Laundromat: is on The Road, about a third of the way up to the Bottom.

We really enjoyed Saba and thought the visit was worth the extra preparation and hassle.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Aug 16, 2017 04:05 PM

Sargassum hits Saba:
Reported by Joan Conover 10 August, 2017.
Saba has its beaches full of Sargassum weed. There is currently no solution to this problem. An online site to track Sargassum weed via satellite images is in development - lots of discussions right now about what to do about this problem.
Search "Sargassum" on noonsite for latest news items.

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