Last year Irie spent five months in St. Martin; a big part of the year, that doesn’t have much to do with cruising. Then another three months in Grenada, for pretty much the same reasons: selling Wiries and running the business in the States, combined with boat projects. The list of boat problems never ends and one needs to make a living somehow when wanting to be a sea gypsy, no matter how primitive and economical the lifestyle. The other months of the year, we sail from place to place with some sightseeing and, ideally, a bit of enjoyment along the way.

This year, we came back to St. Martin to work for about three months, order parts from the States and repair some things on Irie. We planned ahead and were busy the whole period and then some. When May approached, we started to look forward to getting out of this land locked, not very Caribbean like lagoon. What is the use of a sailboat when you don’t sail? Problems with the outboard engine would keep us here longer than anticipated, however, and seeing the places missed on our other two passages through the Eastern Caribbean island chain (mostly because of weather issues) was in jeopardy. Hurricane season (and a supposedly bad one at that) is upon us!

For over a year now, I wanted to visit Saba, which is close to St. Martin and part of the Netherlands Antilles. The whole island is more or less a rock and very different from its neighbors. It is relatively small, lacks beaches and flat roads, has few inhabitants and nature abounds. Visiting by boat is possible, but uncomfortable, sometimes even dangerous, and going to shore is very challenging. The best way is to swim, but that involves other inconveniences and excludes taking Darwin to shore for his potty breaks. Mark is not a fan of taking Irie over there, so my only possibility was to visit by myself.

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  • Liesbet Collaert

    Liesbet Collaert, a former school teacher from Belgium, has been an avid traveler since she was a teenager. Growing older only …

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