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Paradise Next Door
Bahamas Cruise
2011
Don and Diana in Bimini
~ Don and Diana in Bimini ~
South Bimini
Exotic Excursions
Slugs for a Day
We opted for one more day in the marina – a situation that we weren't planning to repeat for the remainder of our journey. The flies were quite a nuisance and the no-see-ums seemed to be getting thicker, so we closed up all the hatches and enjoyed our AC afforded by shore power and a website development barter. It turned out to be a good idea as the rainy night before would have otherwise forced us to batten the hatches and suffer in the heat.

Perhaps it was exhaustion from our conch hunt the day before, or perhaps it was because 'you are what you eat' and our previous evening's meal featured a giant snail, but the next day found us rather sluggish. We slept in late, dawdled around the boat reading, did a little laundry, then hung out at the pool for a bit where I started to take yet another nap. I don't believe Don ever knew how lazy I could be, given that I'm the primary motivator in our crew and do not take slothful behavior lightly.

Diana at the Fountain of Youth
~ Diana at the Fountain of Youth ~
Dahon Mariner Folding Bikes
As early evening neared, we rousted ourselves up for a bike ride to see the rest of South Bimini. We'd come equipped with two folding marine-grade bicycles onboard, and although they'd been lubed, tuned, and sheltered, the salt life was turning them into rusted origami sculptures. At thrice the cost I wished they'd held up half as well as our old beach chairs. With a bit of effort, we were able to disentangle the ensemble and be on our way. I could never quite figure out the cause, but the rhythmic squeak – squeak – squeak of my every peddle stroke echoed our approach.
Bimini's Fountain of Youth
Our first stop was the famed Fountain of Youth – a legendary spring at the center of Juan Ponce de Leon's epic travels to this side of the planet. I'd imagined a mystical forest surrounding a magical fresh-water spring bubbling up through a stony crag, defying gravity as well as the inevitable advancement of age. What we found however was of more banal origins, such as what one might visualize in the nursery rhyme of Jack and Jill; a stone surround, a small pitched roof, and a rusty old tin bucket hanging from a rope.

So Don and Di squeaked up the lane to fetch a pail of parasitic pond-scum. It wasn't really all that bad and the promise of being restored to rosy-cheeked vibrancy prompted us to partake in the fable. I dipped my hand in for a sip and POOF – I was transformed into a middle-aged white woman.

It didn't work on Don either.

The Little Yellow (and Black and Blue) Bus
~ The Little Yellow (and Black and Blue) Bus ~

A nearby sign pointed toward a curving trail, so we opted to follow thinking perhaps a vigorous hike would bring us closer to youthful vitality. Alas, the curve was just one end of a semi-circle, and the entire expedition took all of 2 minutes – less time than it had taken us to lock up our rusty bikes.

Touring South Bimini
Having reached the extreme of that little excursion, Don and I headed down the road. The other island allures we encountered along the way were the garbage dump, several unfinished yet weathered construction sites, and some dreary ruins (which I believe were nothing more than completely abandoned, unfinished construction sites). Terminating our tour at the international airport seemed apropos, as it was where Don had checked us in to the country. It proved to be as titillating as each of the previous attractions we'd encountered. The terminal's 3 vending machines were actually included in the Cruising Guide Port Directory's 'Places to Eat'.
Dinner at the Bimini Sands Yacht Club
We decided the Airport fare wasn't going to cut it for an evening meal, and so turned our rust-cycles back to the Bimini Sands Marina. We contorted our bikes back into their tangled arrangement, stored them on deck, and then inquired about the dining options available on the island. We were guided to our resort's free shuttle, a little yellow school bus (blue and black were added to represent the Bahamian flag) for a quick trip around the marsh that makes up the better part of the island, to the Bimini Sands Yacht Club. Curiously, the derelict marina we'd first approached still had a functioning restaurant; one of the few still open on South Bimini.
Goodbye Bimini
~ Goodbye Bimini ~

The establishment's lively bar made me realize what foreigners we'd become in just a few short days. On tiny Vaca Key from which we'd traveled, we were greeted with familiarity everywhere we frequented.

However we were the alien faces on this isolated cay. Alas, romantic seclusion on remote shores was exactly what we were seeking. Tomorrow we'd begin crossing the opalescent Great Bahama Banks for an overnight trip to the Berry Islands.

Bimini would leave a bitter-sweet taste in our memories. Though somewhat shabby and dilapidated, this roguish island encompassed by breathtakingly beautiful seas was our accession to truly cruising across vast oceans to far-flung lands. We'd let go of our fears, and found our freedom in the exotic port of Bimini. Arriving to this shimmering cay on the other side of the Gulf Stream was proof that our larger ambitions were attainable. This island would always be the beginning of fulfilled dreams.

2011 — Bahamas Cruise
Articles
Obtaining an Aspiration
Paradise Next Door
18 Feb thru 23 May
Obtaining an Aspiration
Bahamas Bound
Bahamas Bound
Feb
A Windfall of Spare Time
AWOL for the Boat Haul
Preparing for a Bahamas Cruise
Feb
AWOL for the Boat Haul
Provisioning Scents, Cents & Sensibility
Provisioning for the Bahamas
Mar
Scents, Cents & Sensibility
Going to Anchor before Going Abroad
Boot Key Harbor Departure
23 & 24 Mar
Going to Anchor before Going Abroad
Safe, Sound & Lounging Around
Bimini
25 Mar
Safe, Sound & Lounging Around
The Wonderland of Alice Town
Alice Town, North Bimini
26 Mar
The Wonderland of Alice Town
In Search of the Queen
Bimini Flats
27 Mar
In Search of the Queen
Exotic Excursions
South Bimini
28 Mar
Exotic Excursions
A Great Harbour Hidden in the Berries
Berry Islands
29 & 30 Mar
A Great Harbour Hidden in the Berries
Decline of the Concubine
Great Harbour Cay
31 Mar
Decline of the Concubine
An Endless Honeymoon
Sugar Beach Caves
01 Apr
An Endless Honeymoon
Strange Worlds
Great Harbour Blue Hole
02 Apr
Strange Worlds
A Phenomenal Day
Fanny Cay, Berry Islands
03 Apr
A Phenomenal Day
Soldiering On
Sailing to Soldier Cay
07 Apr
Soldiering On
Cosmic Waters
Hoffman Cay Blue Hole
08 Apr
Cosmic Waters
Barry and the Beguiling Bay
Little Harbour Cay
10 Apr
Barry and the Beguiling Bay
Paradise Lost
Sailing to New Providence
12 Apr
Paradise Lost
Spirit of Serendipity
Death in Paradise
13 Apr
Spirit of Serendipity
Nassau Anew
Nassau
14-17
Nassau Anew
Kaleidoscope
Allen & Leaf Cay
23-25
Kaleidoscope
Sorry Lore of Normans
Norman's Cay
25-27
Sorry Lore of Normans
Treasured Island
Shroud Cay
28 Apr
Treasured Island
Bluebloods, Brits, Banshees, Bones and Buccaneers
Warderick Wells
29 Apr
Bluebloods, Brits, Banshees, Bones and Buccaneers
Bumming with a Different Breed
Big Majors Spot
01 May
Bumming with a Different Breed
Sundries of a Sailor's Life
Staniel Cay
04 May
Sundries of a Sailor's Life
It Was Neat
Thunderball
10 May
It Was Neat
The Pendent on the Emerald Necklace
George Town, Great Exuma
7 & 8 May
The Pendent on the Emerald Necklace
The Wild Isle
Stocking Island Hike, Great Exuma
12 May
The Wild Isle
Bush Medicine
William's Town, Little Exuma
13 & 14 May
Bahamian Bush Medicine
Bush Medicine
Exuma's West Coast
18 May
Catch-a-Fire
Cruising Blogs
2011 - Bahamas
Paradise Next Door
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