Today is our last day on Bimini and in the Bahamas. I am going swimming in the beautiful infinity pool and then will come back and make breakfast.
Sheila at infinity pool Bimini Sands Resort and Marina. Note the color of the pool water and the color of the ocean.
But while I wait for Bob to get ready to swim and the sun to heat things up a bit, I thought I would share some thoughts about the past week.
Bimini, both north and south, are small and not densely populated. I believe there are about 1600 inhabitants combined. There are two large resorts that employ a great percentage of the population. Unfortunately, the tourist season is not year round – which Bob and I cannot understand. The heaviest part of the tourist season is March – June. If only the resorts could remain full a larger part of the year – this could be a rich Island. But it is not. Here we are in February and the weather is windy but beautiful. There have been a number of popup showers but they rarely last even 15 minutes.
The water and fishing here is some of the best in the Bahamas. The circle of rock around the marina provides a virtual aquarium of fish life. Every day we walk and see different fish right around the boat.
One evening we say five sea urchin right off the bow of the boat.
Deter, a live aboard that has come here for the last 45 years, described how it used to be even more spectacular and how he fears that our children will be the last generation to see the fish as we see them. There is garbage along the side of the road, but not nearly as much as we have seen on other Islands and very little garbage can be found on the beach.
The people are the most welcoming. Everyone here wants to make sure you enjoy your stay. They are easy to engage in conversation. Many of the children go to the US for their education. The woman who cleans the restrooms has an 11 year old living with her sister in Florida and a woman we met on the beach has a high schooler who got help from landowners here to attend high school in the US. At first, I hated to hear people respond to me with “yes mam” but I now see it as respectful and I will miss it.
We unloaded our bikes from the boat the first day we were here and have used them every day. If you are reading this and thinking about cruising – take your bikes if you have the room. If you liked biking before cruising, I don’t think you will regret it.
Things we have done since arriving:
Took our bikes on the ferry to north Bimini and road to the most northern portion where the Resort World Hilton is located.Checked out the casino, the beach and the general accommodations – it is beautiful, very well maintained.
Bob at ferry dock. Ferry was a large pontoon boat.
Toured the Dolphin house.This is a national treasure built over the last 20 years by Ashley Saunders from recycled materials.Ashley is 3rd generation and descends from “wreckers”
Dolphin house sign
Dolphin house main room
Ashley pointing to Ohio license plate.
Stairs to second floor
Outside view - second floor being added
Found Nate’s bakery that has the best cream cheese buns I have ever tasted.We are going back today to get some more!
Toured the Shark Research Center on South Bimini.There are about 20 volunteers and researchers studying various types of sharks, their behavior and habitat.We got to touch both lemon and nurse sharks.There are so many types of sharks found here because of the diversity of habitat that Bimini provides: vast mangroves for the lemon sharks’ nurseries, wide shallow water in the banks and the ever changing water of the gulf stream to name a few.I learned a lot.
Shark research center sign
Volunteer holding Nurse shark
Walked the nature trail near the marina.
Went swimming almost every day.
Gary and Niamh
Met Gary and Niamh (pronounced Nee’ef) on their Caliber 40 and finally got to meet George and Bev on Breeze On.Breeze On is a Hanse 415, the same boat that Karen and Hugh have. They are friends of theirs that we have heard about since Annapolis but had not met until they pulled in next to us here in Bimini – small world.
Practiced flying the drone that Karen got Bob as a birthday gift.We are still not comfortable flying it over water but we are getting there.Thank you Karen!
Bob flying drone
So tomorrow at 6:15 am we will cast off and say goodbye to the Bahamas. I am excited about getting back to Florida, good wifi, familiar restaurants and grocery stores. I will miss the beautiful water and friendly people. We will be back!