Port #1 – Bimini Bahamas

Good evening blog followers,

We are on the fast track to get to the Exuma Islands, so we only spent one day in Bimini.
Here are the highlights.

We started the day by renting a golf cart from “Pedro”. I ran into a couple pulling into the Big Game golf cart corral yesterday. They were staying at the Hilton, but having dinner at Big Game. They said That Pedro had the best golf carts on the island.

We started out our golf cart exploration, researching a couple Beaches for a potential beach trip later in the day.
The water at the beaches was again superb, but a lot more people than we had expected or desired.
The first stop was Shipweck Beach

You can’t see it in these photos which look pristine, but there were a lot of people at the Shipwreck Beach.
If it was deserted, it would have been a great place. Jerry says that we will get many beautiful secluded beaches later in the Exumas (humm, spoiled already ??).

Next was Radio Beach – Yuk, way too commercialized !

The next stop on the agenda was The Dolphin House.
This stop turned out to be the best of the day !
We almost didn’t go into it because of the whopping $10/PP ticket price.

The dolphin house was created by a guy named Ashley Saunders – a local author, artist, historian and retired teacher on the island of Bimini.

Saunders whose family has lived on Bimini since the American Revolution has built a unique house and a landmark tourist attraction. In 1993, he began construction of a house unlike any other, using found recycled materials to decorate every inch of the concrete structure.  The Dolphin House is a thick and sturdy building, purpose-designed to withstand the ugly forces of passing hurricanes, yet also embellished by the careful touches of an artist. The interior and exterior walls are completely covered in mosaics composed of colorful tiles, shells, bottles, coins, and all manner of other “found objects“. He has used materials from demolition sites and shoreline cast-offs from various places.
Ashley considers himself a dolphin inspired artist who tells a story of swimming with a large pod of wild Bimini dolphins and attributes his artistic vision to that inspirational experience.
Ashley himself, gave us a great 1 hour tour.
We are told (by other locals, not Ashley) that Ashley did all the work on the house himself except for Electrical & Plumbing.

This is the first room we walked into. There were also 2 bedrooms on the 1st floor equally decorated.

The artist Ashley Saunders.

In various places throughout the house, in addition to all the mosaics & dolphin decorations, Ashley had “Welcome to the Dolphin House in over 100 languages (shown below). He had license plates from every state in the USA embedded into the walls, there were sea shells embedded into the corners of each room, there were dollar bills from over 100 countries epoxied to tables. For a “Dolphin House”, one got a lot more than just dolphin art. It was a mish-mash of a lot of materials.

But the best part for me was the view from the rooftop of the Dolphin House.

After the Dolphin House, we went on an extended ride to the north side of Bimini to see –
1. Resorts World Bimini
2. The Bimini Hilton Resort
3. The Bimini Bahamas Casino Resort

The traffic was chaotic on the 2 lane road, with a mixture of Golf Carts, Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles, and Bikes.
The steering wheel on the Golf Carts & Cars are on the same side as the USA, but you drive on the LHS of the road.

The trip going from the south to north side of Bimini was very surprising.
It was like going across the border from Detroit to Gross Point, or crossing 8-mile rd.
From a relatively poor surrounding, to opulance at it’s best.
Here are some photos of the folks that we will call “The Haves (have money)” !

I was kind of busy driving to take photos, but here are some shots of “The Have Nots”

I guess that puts us into the category of – Having enough $$ to have some Fun !
Our Marina “Big Game Marina & resort was $4.25 per foot ($178 / night).
Resorts World & The Hilton Marinas were $7-8 per foot ($315 / night).

Big Game Marina & Resort is on the south side of Bimini, but is kind of it’s own secluded territory – with 2 restaurants, 3 bars, and a nice pool.

We had several more stops planned on the Golf Cart Tour, but were all starting to get hot & tired. So what do you do when you’re getting Hot & Tired – You go to the Bar !

So we skipped ahead to the last planned stop on our list – The End of the World Saloon (aka The Sands Bar).
It was truly the “Hole in the Wall Bar”.
For me, it had a very Key West feel (Jonell & I spent 6 weeks in Key West during our Great Loop).
It had dollars on the ceiling, black marker signatures on the bar top & every wall, and a toes in the sand floor.

The history of the bar is long but mysterious. Hemingway is known to have frequented the place, along with musician Jimmy Buffett, who, like many visitors, signed his name on the bar counter. Civil rights icon Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., popularized the place when he made frequent sojourns to Bimini in the 1960s.
Powell was known to dock his fishing yacht, Adam’s Fancy, at nearby Brown’s Dock, and when controversy arose in New York he set off for Bimini, frequently entertaining the visiting press corps at the End of the World.
Most of Bimini’s octogenarians say the bar has been around at least as long as they can remember, but none is quite sure when it opened.
Even Presidents Truman and Nixon were said to have had a brew at the place.

During our visit, we did not see Hemmingway or Buffet or Nixon – the place was empty.
Except for the bartender who called himself “Commander” (aka Steve).
Commander treated us to some sort of Rum based drink, the house special.
It definitely had some kick, but cost Captain Luck $40 for 4 drinks.
But it was well worth it, Commander was very entertaining & full of stories.

notice the “Sand Floor”

The next step plan for tomorrow is another long 100 mile day from Bimini to Chub Cay. The wind is already kicking up tonight and will be higher than the beautiful ride to Bimini, but should to be manageable.

Sea you next post at Chub Cay !

2 thoughts on “Port #1 – Bimini Bahamas

  1. What a life long inspiring journey you are all on. It just doesn’t get any better than this. I wish you continuous safe travels throughout this beautiful adventure. Happy Easter to all of you.


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