Bimini in the Bahamas

Friday, 16 August 2019 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General

Alice Town - Bimini Craft Centre © flickr.com - Pietro/cc-by-sa-4.0

Alice Town – Bimini Craft Centre © flickr.com – Pietro/cc-by-sa-4.0

Bimini is the westernmost district of the Bahamas and comprises a chain of islands located about 80 kilometres (50 mi) due east of Miami. Bimini is the closest point in the Bahamas to the mainland United States and approximately 210 km (130 mi) west-northwest of Nassau. The population is 1,988 as of the 2010 census.

Bimini has three islands, North Bimini, South Bimini, and East Bimini. The largest islands are North Bimini and South Bimini. The District of Bimini also includes Cay Sal Bank, more than 100 km (60 mi) further south, which is geographically not a part of the Bimini Islands but a separate unit. North Bimini is about 11 km (7 mi) long and 200 m (700 ft) wide. Its main settlement is Alice Town, a collection of shops, restaurants, and bars on a road known as “The King’s Highway”. The second major road is called Queens Highway and runs almost the length of the island parallel to Kings Highway.

South Bimini (pop. 182) houses an airstrip, South Bimini Airport, and offers a quiet alternative to the slow bustle of North Bimini. There is a small community of homes on South Bimini known as Port Royale. For many years, South Bimini tourists were limited to boaters because there were few accommodations other than private homes.

Because Bimini is close to Miami, Florida, many American anglers go to the islands by boat to fish or to enjoy the local nightlife. Scuba diving and snorkeling are also popular activities, as there are many shipwrecks in the area, such as the wreck of the SS Sapona, which ran aground in 1926 during a hurricane. The top of the ship is exposed to the air while the bottom half is submerged. Parts of the wreck were stripped over the years and some of the wood was used in the construction of the Compleat Angler Hotel and bar on North Bimini.

Alice Town - Waterfront © flickr.com - Pietro/cc-by-sa-4.0 Airports in the Bahamas Alice Town - Bimini Craft Centre © flickr.com - Pietro/cc-by-sa-4.0 Alice Town - Joe's Conch Shack © flickr.com - Pietro/cc-by-sa-4.0 Alice Town © panoramio.com - Pietro Valocchi/cc-by-3.0 Alice Town - Shops © flickr.com - Pietro/cc-by-sa-4.0 View from Alice Town © panoramio.com - SerenityNow/cc-by-sa-3.0 Alice Town - Gouvernor's House © Bmyre33/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Alice Town - Bimini Craft Centre © flickr.com - Pietro/cc-by-sa-4.0
Bimini is home to several landmarks said to contain mystical properties of obscure origins. Much of the historical data about these places is speculative in nature, and experts in various fields have opined across the full spectrum of explanation. The most contentious of these sites is The Bimini Road. The first inhabitants on the island were the Lucayans, and the name “Bimini” means “two islands” in the Lucayan language. During the period of Prohibition in the United States, Bimini was a favorite haven and supply point for the rum-running trade. Some claim that the term “the real McCoy” was applied to the rum provided by William S. McCoy, who used Bimini to transport whiskey to America during the Prohibition, although the phrase pre-dates the Prohibition Era – it is first recorded in the US in 1908 – and the phrase is the subject of numerous fanciful folk etymologies. Chalk’s International Airlines operated seaplane flights between Miami Harbor and the Bahamas from 1917, so the company was an island institution for generations. As goods on the island were expensive because of shipping costs, many locals used Chalk’s flights to buy cheaper goods in Florida and take the goods to Bimini.

Juan Ponce de León and his search for the Fountain of Youth included references to Bimini. Arawak and/or Taíno spoke of a land called “Beimini” where the fountain could be found. Although the location was erroneously associated with the Bahamas, the natives referred to a location in the Gulf of Honduras. Though de León’s expedition brought him to Florida, the fountain was rumored to exist within the shallow pools of South Bimini. Today there is a small freshwater well with a plaque commemorating the Fountain of Youth, on the road leading to the South Bimini Airport. Found within the brackish mangrove swamp that covers 6 kilometres (3 1/2 mi) of the shoreline of North Bimini is The Healing Hole, a pool that lies at the end of a network of winding underground tunnels. During outgoing tides, these channels pump cool, mineral-laden fresh water into the pool. Because this well was carved out of the limestone rock by ground water thousands of years ago it is especially high in calcium and magnesium.

Read more on Bahamas.com – Bimini, Resorts World Bimini, Wikivoyage Bimini and Wikipedia Bimini (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.








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