The Saba Islander

by Will Johnson

Memories of the Sea .


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Dr. Julia Crane did a tremendous job for those native people of Saba who should want to remember the hardships their ancestors went through in order to survive with their families on this little Caribbean Rock .

From time to I will post memories of some of those who were interviewed in the nineteen sixties for her book; “Saba Silhouettes”.

I would like to highlight Carl Hassell today.

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Mr. Carl Hassell pictured here with two of his nephews from Barbados. They were visiting here with their father’s (Capt. Ben Hassell) three masted schooner the “Juliana”.

….” I was just past eleven when I started out, cabin boy on a schooner. There was no money, you know, so that all we lived from was the products of the land; and soon as a boy came up twelve, fourteen years or something like that, why he tries to get away to be able to do something. All the young boys used to go at early ages.


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Two of Carl Hassell’s brothers. Behind the wheel Captain Tommy and in the dark jacket Capt. William Benjamin’Ben’ (grandfather of Richard Goddard of Barbados)

The schooner I went on was from Saba. My brother’s owned it. The schooner came out from America in 1898 and she cruised around from St. Martin, St. Barth’s, all the Windward Islands, and as far as Turks island for straw they made those hats from you know. We used to bring that from Turks island and up to St. Martin, and at the latter part of the year we made a trip from here to Trinidad and Barbados.

Carl Hassell

P.S. I will post a number of these extracts from time to time.

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