Tuesday, March 31, 2009
We've been enjoying our quiet stay in Bimini (there aren't even any shrimp to crackle-pop in the night). There is little to do here but relax and explore. It's nice :)
North Bimini is a long, skinny island, about 7 miles long and 700 feet wide. There is a main road that traverses the length of the island. Since I jog about 5 miles it was a great way to explore. I ran through both towns, Bayley Town and Alice Town and then returned. Bimini is pretty underdeveloped. It's definitely not a "touristy" area. Everyone seems really friendly, almost everyone I passed smiled and said hello. Of course, it may also be that no one here jogs (I didn't see anyone else...) so maybe I was a bit of a novelty :) But everyone at the resort is really friendly too.
The Bimini Bay Resort is huge and located at the very northern end of the island. From what I've seen I think it's the most upscale place here. I think it's been open for about 2 years but it is still largely under construction. It's really beautiful with colorfully painted buildings, 3 restaurants and 2 pools. It seems that it would provide a lot of jobs for the local people. Unfortunately, there's no one here so some of the restaurants are not open or they have limited hours. It's almost eery that there are so few people. Martin and I got a cocktail (the Pain in the Ass is called a Miami Vice here) and walked to the west side of the island/resort to the infinity pool to watch the sun set. We were the only ones there! (See pics of the day...) I can't describe how gorgeous, calm and quiet it was and we were alone! This place is a honeymooners dream...
I don't think that Bimini is a destination location for boaters but more of a stop over between Florida and the rest of the Bahamas. There are 2 marinas at the resort. We're at the far north one and there have been 3-5 boats here on any given day. Most stay a night and then leave. No doubt, the developers of the resort are trying to change that and draw people. With it's proximity to Florida I would think that it's doable but I think they are charging quite a bit for the rooms and with the economy what it is... The marina is pretty reasonably priced. We were offered a golf cart to rent when we got in but we declined - for $90/day we thought we could walk or bike the island! (oh, and the next boat in the marina - right next to us - was offered $70/day (!) but he declined as well.)
We took the tender out for a tour of the area. We headed south along North Bimini to South Bimini. We toodled around the north side of South Bimini and found a waterway that went into the island a bit. This part of the island, from where we were on the water, looked abandoned. Old marinas falling apart, boarded up homes. There were lots of birds (see pics) and it looked like it had once been really lovely. We didn't visit the island proper and I wonder what Port Royal is like on the south side.
The waters around the island are too beautiful. We haven't gotten out to do and snorkeling and unfortunately I don't think we will. We've suffered a big blow - the water maker has broken just as we need it. Martin will blog more about this. He is working away trying to diagnose the problem. If he can, we could order parts to be shipped to Nassau, or we could pick them up in CA when we're back. Water is terribly expensive here (.45/gallon in Bimini and .25/gallon in Nassau) and of course, we can't anchor out for any length of time without a watermaker. Our tank holds 120 gallons. Martin and I go through about 30 gallons/day when we aren't being overly "conservative". So we could probably do 5 days comfortably with no boat washing. If we can't get it fixed before my Mom comes it should be okay too. We will still be able to anchor out for a few days with 3 people.
We're planning on leaving at dawn tomorrow for our 120 mile trip to Nassau. It will be our longest passage by far and should be pretty calm and easy going. The rest of today is for working on the water maker, battening down (with lessons learned...) and making lunch for tomorrows trip... Hopefully we'll be able to walk the island again and catch another gorgeous sunset.