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Old 11-04-2010, 18:53   #1
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SCUBA at Saba

We're taking an 11 day charter on a 43' cat out of St. Martin in May. On our numerous BVI charters, we have always rented tanks and done our dives from the boat. It looks like this may be more difficult in the Leewards.

One of the guys in our group is enamored with diving at Saba. I've read a couple of reports that anchorages at Saba are less than desirable most of the time.

For those of you who have been in the area - is it worth the effort?

The plan right now would be St. Martin - Anguilla - St. Barts - St. Kitts - Nevis - St. Barts - St. Martin (allowing for 3 days 'unplanned' to do whatever the crew/winds allow).

We might swing over to Saba and endure a rolly night if it's worth it - 5 divers out of 8 on board. But is it bad enough for the 3 non-divers to mutiny?
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Old 12-04-2010, 04:20   #2
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I look forward to hearing an opinion on this subject as well, I've crossed the BVI-St. Martin passage many times and each time debate heading to Saba and have always opted to leave Saba out - but I'm willing to change my errant ways if given sufficient incentive.
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Old 12-04-2010, 04:48   #3
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The anchorage can be on the uncomfortable side, it all depends on the wind and the swell direction. If the winds stay steady out of the east / ese then it is not bad, and sometimes pleasant in wells bay. If the winds come around from the north and push the wave direction around towards the north it is not a great night.

On the other hand, the diving is great, and the people are a welcome change from St Martin. If your other crew members enjoy a nice hike the trails are great and the scenery is unique.

Don't overlook Statia as well. The diving is good, though only slightly more protection, the anchorage can be a little better when the wave direction moves more toward the north.

Enjoy your sail!
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:08   #4
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We just got back from Saba, we live aboard in Miami. (Still working the 9-5 job scene here...) Anyway we do a lot of diving in Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Florida Keys, Bonairre and we recently spent 5 days diving at Saba. Some members of our group have also dove Truk lagoon and Palau. We went with 3 other close families that all dive, and we usually take annual dive trips. So far , Bonairre, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Florida Keys are our favorites. Saba was a pretty dissapointing trip from a dive perspective. THe Island is absolutley beautiful, people are great, warm and friendly, but EVERYTHING is expensive. 17% tax on all meals eaten out ect... The anchorages (on the leeward side of the island can be very rollie and the people that we spoke with that had their boats there were not happy. The Seas were routinely 2-3 feet with ripping currents present 4 out of 5 days we went diving. Another downside is that the island does not allow you to dive unless you dive with a dive shop. In Bonairre and elsewhere you simply rent your tanks if needed, pay the marine park fee and go diving. I suspect it is because of the currents. There were not a lot of fish on the reef aside from Squirrel fish, but we did get to see 2 reef sharks in the distance, and a seahorse. THey seem to think sting rays there were a big deal, we saw 2.... If you go, do the night dive on tent reef. Lots of cup coral, and it is very pretty. If we had to make the decision to go again and could only dive the leeward site, then we would not go. On the last day, we got to dive the windward side of the Island, near the airport. The seas were flat that day, no wind or swells and the diving was as good as Grand Cayman or Bonairre. Lots of fish on that side. Apparently that does not happen often. If we were to go and could dive the windward side of the island and do all night dives, then the trip is worth it, but diving on the leeward side of the island was simply dissapointing according to me and 5 other divers.

BTW the crew at the dive operation were fantastic folks and they did a great job. Very friendly, helpful and patient, but not much they could do with the currents, wind, swells and lack of sealife.



Hope this helps.
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Old 13-04-2010, 20:49   #5
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We enjoyed Saba very much. There was only one other boat on the moorings and it was a little rolly, but not that bad. I think it was worth it to visit a really unspoiled island. We did a few of the hikes and enjoyed them.
The dive operation group - as yacht_planb says - are great people. They have only owned the operation a couple of years but are trying to do everything to make visitors enjoy their time on the island.
We would visit again.
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