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In this issue:

Mont Michel, Saba's Newest Dive Site!

All Too Far, Saba's Newest Hiking Trail!

YIIK Cafe, Saba's Newest Eatery!

Muck Diving, Saba's Newest Fad?

 

FORT BAY, SABA - Scheduled for completion during the week of July 18, Monte Michel is Saba's newest dive site. This fifth pinnacle site will then  be added to our renowned Third Encounter, Outer Limits, Twilight Zone and Shark Shoals sites. Monte Michel was christened  after its founder, former Sea Saba dive instructor and boat captain and French Canadian, Michel Cleveau. The site was officially declared in 1992 but never properly moored until David Kooistra, Manager of the Saba Marine Park, made having more permanently moored dive sites a priority.

Begining at a depth of 90 feet at the eyebolt and with a gentle slope on its south side and a wall over the ridge on the north side, this site is surrounded by depths between 200 and 300 feet. Situated as the most westerly of the pinnacles, Monte Michel like Saba herself, has volcanic origins. Each of these pinnacle formations are the end result of weakened areas in the earth's crust where magma pushed upwards and spilled forth as lava. Over time, the lava built a large peak of many layers. The original crust eventually erodes away leaving the solid volcanic rock core which is now completely covered in marine life.

Long wire corals, lacy gorgonians and drooping sponges provide a pristine backdrop for a multitude of larger reef fish, numerous cleaning stations and the ever hopeful pelagic wanderer. Sharks and turtles are common with other possible surprises throughout the year. David reports that resident large turtle and several reef sharks have been seen on all four of the dives conducted while installing the mooring.

Cove Bay is certainly not new to Saba by any means but now offers a new dive site. Cove Bay and Spring Bay are where archaeologists from Holland have found remnants of Arawak civilizations dating back to 700 AD. The credit for this dive site, however, goes to adaventurous medical students from the Saba University School of Medicine who started snorkeling and diving the area from their nearby Cove Bay campus during study breaks. Once again, glowing reports from students convinced  David to add a permanent mooring at Cove Bay also. Although very much dependent upon the wather, the new Cove Bay offers superb diving and snorkeling with an interesting sandy area and a colorful wall on the side closest to the airport. Ranging in depth from 45 to 100 feet, the site is large enough to conduct  two dives, one deep and one shallow. At Sea Saba, we consider it to be an intermediate dive since the swim to start the wall can burn a bit of air but is well worth the effort.

As if two new sites are not enough good news, David promises the leftover blocks from the overnight yacht moorings that have now been replaced by sand screws will eventually be used for more Windwardside moorings. At the same time, research and efforts have been in progress for the past year to secure a wreck for an artificial reef program. All the more reason to come back to Saba or to plan a longer first trip.

Our thanks go out to the staff of the Saba Marine Park for their regular duries and extra energy necessary to make improvements to the park. Drop by their new web site at www.sabapark.org to find out how you can assist them with their efforts.

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