Knowing we were now ready to leave at midnight we left the Marina at 4pm, went under the Las Olas Bridge and anchored nearby (why pay for another night at the dock!), had a great and relaxing dinner and took naps. We left at mid nite for our trek south towards Miami. We timed both Bridge openings perfectly and were soon motoring about 1 mile off shore towards Miami. As we neared the Port Entrance, traffic was getting heavy, we had a Cruise Ship coming at us from 8 o’clock, a large private yacht coming at us from 12 o’clock ( our collision alarm sounded), Freighters and Tankers coming at us from 2 and 3 o’clock, so we turned East towards the Bahamas a little earlier than planned to avoid all this traffic! Once traffic subsided we couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing crossing with a gentle breeze out of the ESE @ 5kts and flat seas.
By sunrise the traffic subsided and we had a pleasurable motor sail to Bimini. The inlet was unmarked but NancyLu, who had arrived the previous afternoon road out in their tender and escorted us in. Currents at the inlet are strong but we had the benefit of coming in at a rising tide with currents in our favor.We tied safely into Slip N6at Browns Marina. Within a few minutes the DockMaster presented us with customs/immigration paperwork to fill out. Only the Captain can leave the boat to present our documents and obtain a cruising pass. Captain A soon had us cleared with a 120 day pass and we were able to leave Dolphin in short order and visit the Island. We visited and enjoyed the beach on the eastern shore and collected many shells, and an abundance of sea glass and other flotsam. Late that afternoon we joined fellow boaters at the Marina’s comfortable lounge area for cocktails, stories and sharing sail plans.
The next day was action packed once we got going! We got lunch at Captain Bob’s and carried it back to the Marina lounge to enjoy. We visited the Dolphin House Museum, a unique home that has been crafted into an overwhelming sight for the eyes. Later we rented a golf cart and visited the entire Island including the completed Bimini Resort Club with breathtaking views, an infinity pool; and, homes under construction that will ultimately make up the Bimini Bay Marina Complex. At sunset many of us met on the East beach to take in the view. Adrien learned to blow a conch!
(Note: pictures did not come out in the order intended. Sorry for the confusion!)
Route from Ft Lauderdale to Bimini, roughly 65 miles. Leaving at midnight allowed us to arrive at Bimini in the morning light to safely navigate the very shallow and poorly marked entrance.
Sunrise over Bimini in our sights about 20 miles off shore
Beautiful clear blue water at the dock, easy to see the school of Sargent Majors
Eastern shore, great beach to collect sea glass!
Sue captured this great shot of a Man-O-War as we crossed to Bimini. They put up their sail and let the wind carry them to their next victim!!
Sue took a position on deck to help the Captain navigate through the shallow entrance to Bimini
If you are tired of all the sunsets and beach shots, here are a few from the hub of Bimini
Customs and Immigration Office, zoom in and notice they want you to knock before entering!
The tourist shops. The lady in the car is selling roasted chicken/ brown rice etc out of the trunk of her car to the locals.
We enjoyed lunch at Captain Bob’s
Liquor store, cases of beer start at $48!
Inside the Dolphin Museum. The gentlemen in this shot is the owner and craftsmen. Pretty much every material he used came from the island or trinkets he was presented by his many guests. It’s truly been a labor of love that had taken years. The walls are molded of coral ground cement and mosaics he’s created over time. If you can zoom in you might see a bit of the detail.
Kids all over the Bahamas wear uniforms to school. In Bimini it appeared that each grade wore a different color scheme.
Main road that runs from north to the south end of Bimini
Wanna beMermaids !
The first blow!