||Saba plunges below the sea as steeply as she rises above. From shallow patch reefs to deep underwater seamounts, Saba offers sites suitable for any diver’s level of experience.
Past volcanic activity has created spectacular formations and structures. Underwater lava flows and hot springs are the most obvious evidence of Saba’s volcanic origins.
The reefs are populated with schools of tropical fish and healthy coral. Sheer close-to-shore walls are covered with sponges of all sizes and the heavily encrusted deep-water seamounts attract pelagic creatures that are not normally seen by divers. Unusual and exciting sightings are always possible in Saba’s waters including frequent shark encounters.
Saba offers year-round diving with seasonal differences in water temperature and surface conditions. The water temperature varies between 26C and 28C (77F-84F). Visibility ranges from a minimum of 20m (60ft) to virtually unlimited. Swells and heavy rainfall may influence visibility, but typically it clears again very quickly.
Due to the steepness of the coastal zone, shore diving is virtually impossible. Therefore all diving must be with one of Saba’s licensed dive centers. Their expertise contributes to a
safe, convenient and informative diving experience.
Fortunately Saba’s dramatic coastline naturally limits coastal development. Pressure on marine resources has always been low even as the island population has increased. The quality
of the marine environment, resilient reef communities and rich and varied marine life continue to lure divers to Saba’s unspoiled waters.
Saba is blessed with an abundance of fish in the Marine Park. This is the result of restrictions on fishing, anchorage and extensive diver education as to the rules and regulations. One dramatic indication of this is the large number of Nassau Grouper (Graysbys, Hinds, Coneys) that can be seen on every dive. Ecological surveys have recorded over 150 species, all with healthy populations. Some of the most common pelagic fish include Horse-eye Jacks, Great Barracuda, Wahoo, Tarpon and 5 species of shark. Schooling fish include Wrasses, Blue Tangs, Chromis and Surgeonfish. On almost every dive, Parrotfish, Triggerfish, Angelfish, Snapper and Grunts can be seen in abundance. In sandy areas, Lizardfish, Sand Divers, Flying Gurnards and Garden Eels predominate.
True reefs are only found at a few locations within the Marine Park. The vast majority of coral structures can be categorized as “coral encrusted boulders”. These boulders are volcanic in origin and generally originate from the hillsides along the coast. Both hard and soft corals and sponges cover the boulders to such a degree that the rock is often not visible. The Pinnacles are coral encrusted volcanic structures rising out of the sea floor 100m (330ft) below. Gorgonians, Sea Fans and Barrel and Chimney Sponges are abundant everywhere. Elkhorn colonies can be found at sites east of the harbor.
Due to protection of their food sources within the Marine Park, both Green and Hawksbill Turtles thrive around Saba. Provided that divers approach slowly, the turtles will continue to feed while having their picture taken. With restrictions on fishing, Conch, Lobster and a variety of Crabs can be observed on every dive.
In addition to the creatures described above, you may be fortunate enough to spend time with some regular visitors to Saba. These include Hammerhead and Whale Sharks, Manta and Spotted Eagle Rays, Longsnout Seahorses and Frog Fish. During winter months, you can sometimes hear whales singing to each other or you may even see them breaching.