is a 5 square mile volcanic island located 35 miles
south-southwest of St. Martin in the Caribbean Sea. Sighted by
Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the new world, Saba
was ultimately claimed by the Dutch in 1816. During the 1800's
most of the male population went to sea and became highly
skilled fishermen and seamen. Seafaring continued to be an
important part of Saban life well into the 1900s, with Saban
captains sailing throughout the Caribbean and world.
to Saba's steep topography, travel on the island was via
footpath and goods were carted on donkeys until 1943 when the
first concrete road was built from Fort Bay to The Bottom. The
first motor vehicle arrived in 1947, and by 1958 "The Road" was
completed linking all the villages and the harbor. The airport
was completed in 1963. Electricity finally became regularly
available throughout the day in 1970. In 1972 the Leo Chance
Pier in Fort Bay was opened, accommodating fishing boats, work
boats and small cruise ships.
In 1992 the
School of Medicine was established as a joint project
between the island government and a group of medical educators
from the United States. The Saba University of Medicine
continues to have a large presence on Saba to this day.
Saba is known as an ecotourism site with stunning hiking, diving
and bird watching, and for the not-so-physically-inclined,
wonderful hammock-lounging. Several island-based dive operations
take advantage of the
Saba National Marine Park. The Marine Park surrounds the
entire island and extends down to 60 meters in depth. It
contains lava tunnels, hot springs, spur and groove formations
and sheer wall dives as well as an abundance of marine life.
Check out the reef picture, above, taken by past Saba residents
Tom and Lynn Franzson.
And for a look at Saba in the early 20th Century,
take a look at this "documentary" that was produced in 1937:
Maps of Saba
Saba is located at Latitude 17º 38' North,
Longitude 63º 14' West.
out of date British Admiralty Chart has a beautiful rendering of
Saba. It's based on an original survey completed by the HMS
Scorpion in 1850, though it's been updated through 1975. Click
on photo for a bigger version.