FAQ's - Before
Before you leave and packing suggestions
Take 6-minutes and watch our packing video; share it with a friend--promise you will learn a new tip. Or here's the 6 essential points: 1) dining is casual 2) comfortable walking/hiking shoes and flip flops 3) Electricity is 110v--like USA. 4) water is safe to drink 5) Saba is known for its lack of mosquitoes and sand fleas 6) Sea Saba has a full retail shop with great t's, shorts, dresses, sandals, hiking shoes and more. Watch the video, really!
What thickness wetsuit?
Do I need long sleeves at night time?
Use this chart as a gauge of temperatures to expect:
What will you see?
Well, that's not an easy question... Check out our social media for the latest sightings and stories from the unspoiled queen.
For digital enthusiasts, be sure to bring spare memory cards, batteries, chargers, filters, etc. With so many different devices, a small island like ours cannot even attempt to stock what you may need. You won't believe how many photo ops you'll find on our incredible island--quaint villages, interesting churches, wonderful cultural mix for people portraits...and that's before we look at nature! Just outside your hotel or rental cottage, you will find amazing photo opportunities. Ocean views, sunsets, sunrises, flowers galore, incredible greenery, lizards, geckos, hummingbirds, tree frogs, and iguanas! Oh, you came here for diving? Look forward to experiencing the results of 23 years of the Saba Marine Park's protective work. Macro enthusiasts will never grow tired of the varying substrates that host our critters ranging from nudibranchs to blennies, frogfish, batfish, etc.. Up close opportunities await for turtles, stingrays, and sharks. Seasonal sightings of seahorses, mantas and humpback whales can be hoped for! So double check to make sure you have what you need!
Dive equipment... or not?
If you have your own scuba gear, great. Your consideration for this trip should be to pack efficiently to avoid excess baggage charges. If you don't own your own gear, before you RENT equipment from your local dive shop, check out Sea Saba's quality equipment and great prices. As major carriers and Winair now have stricter baggage regulations (see below), renting bigger less personal items is another consideration. Most divers are comfortable with skins, Polartecs or 2-3mm wetsuits in the summer months, depending upon your propensity to getting cold, body fat, etc. In the winter months, divers wear from a minimum of 2-3 mm wetsuits to 5-6mm for those with little body fat or acclimatized to the tropics. Saba does not officially have a "No Gloves" or "No Knives" rule; however, use of either is discouraged. Although our mooring lines have growth on them, most find no problem to dive without gloves or only use the gloves for the mooring lines. The only real use for knives while diving Saba are to either bang on your tank (or to share your lunch with others).
Don't forget your c-card
C-Cards or proof of certification are a must. If you have lost your certification card, contact us BEFORE you get to Saba. Please understand Sea Saba, or any reputable dive center, requires proof of your diving status. Any medical concerns that might effect your ability to dive safely should be addressed before you travel. With your safety as our #1 concern, we have the right to refuse you to dive with us or request written medical clearance should we be made aware of any medical concern at any point during your stay. Good news--Saba's hyperbaric chamber is fully functional; right at the harbor. If you are not a D.A.N. member, use this easy link to sign up and be insured before your trip.
In our 'new post 9/11 world', regulations are constantly changing. A valid passport is required to enter St. Maarten and Saba. Europeans and North Americans do not require visas. Other nationalities should visit the website of the St. Maarten airport to check for specific immigration regulations as St. Maarten is the first point of entry to Saba.
Travel insurance thoughts...
Before you finalize your travel plans, you may want to research travel insurance. For about 5% of the cost of your trip you can have some piece of mind and perhaps cash in hand if your plans go awry. But make sure you 'read the fine print' to know what is or is not covered. Loss of luggage, trip interruptions, and illness are just a few examples of things to spoil your vacation. Travel with a laid-back attitude or put up the cash to protect yourself in case of a problem. Remember, your ill planning, problem, or just bad luck cannot be expected to be compensated by another entity with the only relationship being part of your planned vacation. Click here to easily sign up or renew with Diver's Alert Network. Don't want to buy a full year's insurance? Ask us about the DAN short-term coverage (as low as $40 for 10 days) now available for travelers to Saba.
Weight and battery restrictions on large air carriers
Most U.S. carriers are now limiting checked bags to one bag per person and a maximum weight of 50 lbs. per bag (exceptions are normally if you fly first class or have gold card status). Many are now charging for each bag or for sure the second bag. Don't be embarrassed or delayed by having to adjust or pay at the check in counter. In most cases, they will allow you the extra weight or extra piece but at some hefty prices. Check with your airline. Although we have not experienced any actual checking of batteries, regulations are 'on the books'.
Winair weight restrictions
Windward Island Airways " Winair" has an official weight restriction of 22kg per person (50 lbs.). You may check up to 64kg (140 lbs) but you will pay overweight after the 22kg allowance. Officially, the 20kg includes your carry on luggage--but luckily, we have not yet seen this enforced. Officially, each passenger is allowed one (1) carry-on bag which is subject to a maximum weight of 3 kilos or just over 6 pounds. Your best bet to avoid this additional charge is to have just one carry on--not a backpack and a purse, but just the backpack. Carry-on bags the size of a reasonable backpack, but quite heavy are regularly allowed on with no questions asked. But, a larger roller bag that can fit in the overhead compartment of a major carrier has no place on Winair flights with no overhead compartment and little room under the seats.
take your regulator (a heavy but smaller item) in your carry-on luggage.
minimize the extras (we sell quality ts, tanks, shorts, sweatshirts, shoes, and more!)
smile and be polite at the St. Maarten Winair counter--remember "you get more bees with honey"
put essentials (medications, a change of underwear, a prescription dive mask, etc.) in your carry-on luggage in case your checked luggage is delayed.
Feel confident to lighten your load--See our Dependable Equipment page of this site for more details regarding our rental fleet.
We did say concierge-level service. If you will be staying at a rental cottage or villa, consider taking us up on our offer to have a few essentials in place upon arrival. We don't charge for the service (only the goods will be put on your bill to pay at the end of your trip), just another Sea Saba difference. The island's food/freight boats arrive on Tuesday night and Wednesday mornings...so if you intend to cook or just like to have things in place for arrival, best to send us a list ahead of time--things like fresh fruit, veggies and milk go fast! Grocery store hours are now 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.; absolutely closed on Sundays and local holidays. If you're arriving on the last flight, it's no problem to make the super market. But if you're arriving on a Sunday or holiday, we'll be happy to have some basics in place for your arrival like breakfast stuff, coffee, beer, wine, etc....simply email us and we'll have it in place. You'll be surprised at the variety of wines at great prices.