1984 Saba & St Eustatius

A flight to Antigua, then by small aircraft to St Eustatius and Saba


Sint Eustatius also known locally as Statia. It is a special municipality of the Netherlands. The island lies in the northern Leeward Islands portion of the West Indies, southeast of the Virgin Islands. Sint Eustatius is immediately to the northwest of Saint Kitts, and to the southeast of Saba. The regional capital is Oranjestad. The island has an area of 21 square kilometres . The population is 3,100. The official language is Dutch, but English is the "language of everyday life" on the island and education is solely in English. A local English-based creole is also spoken informally.

Sint Eustatius is 6 miles long and up to 3 miles wide. Topographically, the island is saddle-shaped, with the 602 meter-high dormant volcano Quill (Mount Mazinga), to the southeast and the smaller pair of Signal Hill and Boven Mountain to the northwest. The Quill crater is a popular tourist attraction on the island. The bulk of the island's population lives in the flat saddle between the two elevated areas, which forms the centre of the island.

We had stopovers at both St Barts and St Martin (went all the way round the island as touists do, to go to French and Dutch halves of the island)

We stayed at the Old Gin House, beautifully located on Orange Bay, Lower Town and a hike away from the Quill Volcano, the highest point on Statia with panoramic views over the entire island and neighbouring islands



Saba is a Caribbean island which is the smallest special municipality of the Netherlands. It consists largely of the potentially active volcano Mount Scenery, which at 887 metres is the highest point of the entire Kingdom of the Netherlands. The island lies in the northern Leeward Islands portion of the West Indies, southeast of the Virgin Islands. Together with Bonaire and Sint Eustatius it forms the BES islands. Saba has a land area of 13 square kilometres , the population was 1,900. It is the smallest territory by permanent population in the Americas. Its towns and major settlements are The Bottom (the capital), Windwardside, Zion's Hill and St. Johns.

In 1963 Saba residents built the Airport. This 400-metre landing strip is reputed to be the shortest commercial runway in the world, and is restricted. Only trained pilots flying small STOL airliners, such as the Twin Otter and the Britten-Norman Islander may land there, as well as helicopters. Our aircraft flew straight at a mountain, then at the last minute turned sharp left and landed on the small runway

There is one main road, known as "The Road". Its construction was masterminded by Josephus Hassell who, contrary to the opinion of Dutch and Swiss engineers, believed that a road could be built. He took a correspondence course in civil engineering and started building the road with a crew of locals in 1938. After five years of work the first section of the road from Fort Bay to The Bottom was completed. It was not until 1947 that the first motor vehicle arrived. In 1951 the road to Windwardside and St. Johns was opened and in 1958, the road was completed. Driving "The Road" is considered to be a daunting task, and the curves in Windwardside are extremely difficult to negotiate. Driving is on the right hand side. I did not try to drive here, but the walk from the hotel at the top to the sea at the bottom was a muscle wrenching experience

We stayed at Captain’s Quarters, once a 19th-century whaling captain’s house expanded and converted into one of the finest guesthouses on the Island, was destroyed by Hurricane George in 1998. It remained derelict until the ruin was sold in 2017




And back to Antigua to get the plane back to London


All Holidays