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Out Islands of the Bahamas - Bimini

 


 

Bimini Island is the true Island in the Stream, perched at the edge of a sheer underwater cliff that falls thousands of feet into the blue abyss. The Gulf Stream rushes north, washing past Bimini Island, feeding and warming its coral reefs and serving as a watery highway for everything from marlin to mantas, dolphin to sea turtles. Its unique location coupled with a roguish history makes Bimini the Out Islands’ favorite diving and fishing frontier outpost.

 

For Ernest Hemingway, it was love at first sight when he docked his boat, Pilar, Bimini Island back in the 1930’s. He returned often after that, falling into the laid-back Bimini way of life that included swimming off the beach, snorkeling, trolling for monster game fish and yes, tossing back more than a few rums with the locals. Visitors today tend to follow the same routine with a few twists such as the extraordinary chance to interact with wild Atlantic spotted dolphins that gather north of the island, casting flies for bonefish on the flats of The Bahamas Bank, kayaking to the legendary “Fountain of Youth” (a natural spring amid the mangrove mud that pumps lithium and sulfur) and scuba diving on wrecks, reefs, “off the wall” or atop the mysterious Bimini Road that some believe is remnants of a man-made causeway perhaps built by Atlantis’ own civil engineers.

 

"On Bimini Island, you'll find more fishing, diving, sailing and more to do per square mile than anywhere in The Bahamas Out Islands."

 

Bimini Island – which is actually two small islands, North Bimini Island and South Bimini Island, connected by a shallow flat – has a fascinating history. As the closest Bahamian island to the U.S., Bimini served as a convenient offshore speakeasy and liquor store during prohibition. Rum runners stored their hooch both ashore and on a concrete Liberty ship called the Sapona that still rests where it grounded during a hurricane – it’s one of the Caribbean’s very best shallow-water wreck sites for snorkelers and divers. Hemingway is of course closely tied to Bimini’s history, leading the way for generations of fishermen, many of whom pilot their own boats the 50 miles across the Gulf Stream from Florida in order to follow in Papa’s bare footsteps and pit themselves against some of the world’s feistiest game fish -- and against each other as they down rum at local watering holes like the famed and funky End of the World Bar.

 

Beyond the fishing, diving and kayaking, Bimini Island offers both the quiet escape of empty beaches along and the boisterous camaraderie of sportsmen gathering at the marinas after a successful day on the water in the hot sun. Menus at the local restaurants like the Red Lion Pub and The Anchorage are, naturally, heavy on fresh seafood and Bahamian favorites like cracked conch to keep you fueled up for further Bimini adventures.

 

 

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