Bimini - What Happens When Your Boyfriend Loves Sharks
My boyfriend loves sharks. He is crazy about them. Every year we have to choose our holiday location according to the shark migration or whale shark trail.
This year we went to Bimini, a tiny little island in the Bahamas that consists of three mini islands, North Bimini, South Bimini and East Bimini. North Bimini, where we stayed for a week, is about 11km long and 200m wide.
We aren't crazy about big hotels or all inclusive resorts so instead we found a super comfy and cute double room at Jenny's Rejuvenation Centre (The ARC). In high season, Jenny runs yoga and detox retreats, serving yummy raw, veggie food and also hosts dolphin encounter trips.
The island is SUPER tiny, we have decided to hire two bicycles and within 24 hours from arrival we said hello to most of the island residents.
By day three, we had pretty much figured out all the Bimini secrets.
Here are 20 things we learnt in Bimini.
1. Kalik beer (local Bahamian beer) is a substitute for water 2. You can easily start drinking Kalik around 11.30am 3. Drinking Kalik makes cycling easy & fun 4. Stuart's Conch Salad shack is THE place to hang out 5. Conch Salad is made from raw conch that looks like an alien 6. You can make your house foundation out of conch shells 7. You should eat your Conch Salad with just a few drops of the hot sauce 8. Local thugs drive their BMWs up and down the 11km island approximately every 15 minutes 9. J.J's Deli is awesome - the only place on the island that serves baked fish and lobster (that's for when you get bored with deep fried fish and American frozen food) 10. The cargo boat comes to Bimini on Thursdays so by Monday evenings, there is no drinking water, fruit or food in the local supermarkets. All food comes from Miami & Nassau 11. No one harvests coconuts! There are plenty of coconuts but nobody sells fresh coconut water. You need to find your own coconut man and stick with him! 12. Sharks are friends - boyfriend survived hammerhead diving! 13. There are seven churches on the 11km island 14. Water taxi drivers can be moody and some of them don't like bicycles 15. South Bimini is all about the Shark Lab and lemon shark research 16. Dolphins are wild, fast and big 17. Scuba divers drink a lot of rum!!! 18. Jenny's ARC is the best place to stay if you want to avoid resorts & hotels 19. Flying via private plane back to Miami is the best way to get off the island 20. Douglas's garden crabs clean better than his cleaner
Is Bimini magic? Does it have a strong magnetic field? Is Atlantis situated just off the island around Bimini Road? Do pirates exist? Is Bimini all about smuggling rum and coke (not the cola version)? Is Bimini worth visiting?
For us yes, Bimini was special in crazy different ways! It took me on an emotional trip pushing my limits and boundaries only to let go and soften. From observing the locals, worrying about recycling and plastic bottle usage, putting my OCD to a test at Doug's place, cycling mad up and down the islands, munching yummy food with Jenny and collecting huge conch shells with my super hot boyfriend to flying tiny private plane back to Miami (thanks Chris! You rescued us! My city fix was much needed)
We enjoyed Bimini so much more thanks to the super kind and loving family of Lisa, Garry, Gabby, Emma and Adam - oh and Omska of course, the diving dog! I think if we hadn't met these guys our Bimini stay would have taken a different turn... towards stagnation, beer and card games, mainly.
They saved us by showing us the island from the water. We chased the dolphins, drank virgin piña coladas, watched Emma taking selfies, laughed at stuff with Adam, ate yummy food prepared by Lisa, took underwater photos with Gabby, observed Garry navigating the boat and called for Omska when she was chasing a nurse shark across the South Bimini waters that are full of hammerhead and tiger sharks!
Thank you so much guys! Hope to see you again one day... Maybe on our little Mediterranean island of Ibiza?
(All images shot on contax 645 + Fuji400H developed and scanned by Carmencita Film Lab)