Underwater in Saba


The plan for Thanksgiving was simple: Do nothing. We needed a break and managed to score Saba as a destination thanks to the recommendation of a friend. Saba is small, quiet and relaxed. And there is almost nothing to do on the island. It was perfect.

Actually there are two things to do on the island: hiking or diving. And we did some hiking eventually but diving was the focus of our days. We hooked up with Sea Saba who took care of all the details; all we had to do was show up and relax; when I forgot the name of the hotel we booked in at the taxi driver just called the Sea Saba office and got the answer as though that’s an every day sort of event. It was darn near perfect.

A sea fan waves in the current
A sea fan waves in the current
The glow of an angelfish, one of the many highlights of Saba diving
The glow of an angelfish, one of the many highlights of Saba diving

Thanks to a bit of foresight but the local government the waters surrounding Saba have been designated as a marine park. Yes, it means an extra dollar per person fee on each dive but the trade-off is that Saba diving happens on a collection of reefs which are spectacularly healthy and well protected. Completely worthwhile.

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Ultimately we did four dives with Sea Saba across two days. And we saw a ton of stuff. From a sea cucumber lumbering along on the ocean floor or a stingray hiding in the sand to reef fish of every color and an octopus which changed colors several times while we watched, it was very, very good diving.

This octopus was spectacular to watch. It crawled along the coral and changed color to blend. Simply amazing.
This octopus was spectacular to watch. It crawled along the coral and changed color to blend. Simply amazing.

We didn’t get to do any of the famed pinnacle dives because the weather was a bit rough but I’m mostly OK with that given that they are deeper so generally less time underwater. And instead we meandered amongst the shallower finger reefs where the occasional shark would pass by or where the angel fish darted to and fro. And, when the weather is calmer Saba diving offers up the more advanced options like the pinnacles. It has something for everyone.

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There’s not much I enjoy more than cruising along underwater so I suppose I should not be surprised that I loved the time we spent diving in Saba. But I still think it is some of the better diving we’ve had in the Caribbean. And combined with the incredibly casual nature of the island and vacation in general I’m pretty much in love with the place.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

10 Comments

  1. Yes, I took all the photos. Wouldn’t make a ton of sense to share them otherwise. 😉

    My underwater kit includes a Canon S110 in the Canon housing and an Ikelite DS-50 strobe. I had a lot of trouble with the strobe this trip so many of the photos don’t have the rich colors I think they should, but such is life.

    I also took my GoPro underwater but was mostly unhappy with the way the results turned out. Plus it showed signs of leaking on the second dive so I didn’t use it at all the second day.

    I’ve got a few more photos online now in a Facebook gallery as well: https://www.facebook.com/TheWanderingAramean/media_set?set=a.10203964279489880.1073741891.1309337227&type=1.

  2. Thanks, Seth. We used a GoPro at the Great Barrier Reef and the pictures sucked. Must be the most overrated camera ever. We will likely buy something else before our next dive trip.

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