Dolfunswim's Blog

Swimming with Wild Spotted Dolphin in Bimini, Bahamas

A Wander About Alicetown, Bimini June 30, 2010

I had a chance to wander a bit through Alicetown yesterday morning.  My first little walk was around the Sea Crest Marina.  These are the boats that are used when we go out to swim with the dolphins. 

When we have a larger group, the captain puts us on the 42’ Hatteras.

The marina was quiet but beautiful to take in.  Another sunny, hot, blue-sky day in Bimini!

One of the little restaurants that we frequent is Captain Bob’s for either breakfast or lunch.  They’ve more recently started serving dinner.

Walking down the street from the marina on the same side is the Bimini Arts & Crafts Center where there are several shops filled with souvenirs to browse and purchase. 

Across the street is the Bimini Museum which is filled with photos, artifacts and the history of the small island.

Next door to the museum is the Bimini Library, which looks very full right now and in need of some repairs! 

The local Catholic school shut its doors at the end of this school year as enrollment was down with little hope of going back up.  Consequently, the school donated all of its outdated text and library books to the public library.  All other reading material from the school was sent to the Catholic school in Nassau.  I rifled though several piles and came upon an interesting book….”Turkish Fairy Tales”.  Much lighter reading material than what I just finished! 

Since most people who arrive on the island come by the small ferry-boat, they are greeted by a small welcome sign in between the museum and the library.

A few steps away are colorful signs pointing to the beach for a couple of food and bar stands. 

After lunch, my friend Madeleine and I went to Spook Hill Beach for a late afternoon swim.  Surprisingly, there were many locals up their having a picnic.  We walked to the far end of the area and swam for over an hour.  We eventually left to go home for showers and dinner.  We met at the Big Game for dinner.  We arrived just in time before a rain storm came through.  By the time we finished and got ready to leave, the sky was clear!  Such is the weather in Bimini.

Until tomorrow….

 

Bimini Heat Relief! June 29, 2010

Today we finally experienced some relief from the heat.  There was a nice breeze and the sun wasn’t as intense.  It’s about time!

I stopped at a new bakery late morning.  It’s called “A Taste of Heaven” and their name is true to their goodies served!  I bought some stickie buns that were hot out of the oven.  The icing was melting down the sides as they were wrapped to go.  Included were guava, pineapple, cinnamon-raisen and apple.  They were delicious and the others thought so too!

After having lunch at my apartment, I meandered back to the cottages for some reading and an afternoon swim with the group.  Surprisingly, the waves at the beach were a bit more intense than usual but it was still refreshing to swim.  It was the last afternoon swim for everyone as their departure was for this morning.  Everyone commented how they had had such a lovely time in Bimini and want to come back next year!

It was decided that the group wanted one last meal at Ebby’s.  We were to meet at the bay side bar at 7:30p.  It was lovely and breeze as we sipped out fruity cocktails.  The food was served and everyone cleared their plates of the fish, rice, plantains and salad!

The above isn’t the best picture, but you get the idea, and the food is delicious!

  As the conversations lingered a couple set up their drums in front of the bar and started to play.  I wandered over to listen and take a few pictures.  There was a third drum and chair that no one had claimed so I happily filled the seat and started to play along with them!  It was a blast!  So much fun!  I haven’t drummed since last summer and it felt wonderfully joyous!

This couple come to Bimini from Canada.  They have engaged in a project to clean up Bimini and help rebuild some homes on the island.  They sailed their boat here and now leave it as they fly down on a regular basis to work on this project.

Afterwards I made a quick call home to my sweetie.  How lovely to here his voice and know that he will be joining me in Paradise in a week! 

I then hopped onto the golf cart and traveled back to the cottages with the group for dessert.  Julie had backed a scrumptous chocolate cake that everyone enjoyed.

Back to my little apartment for bed.  Well, not straight to bed….I had to finish the last few pages of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”.   I finished!  What a read!  I highly recommend.  I think I’ll give myself a reading break today and start on the next book tomorrow……maybe!

 

Bimini Shell Beach June 28, 2010

This morning, after yoga and breakfast, I ventured over to the Spook Hill Beach; a.k.a. The Votex Beach.  It’s aquired this nicknamed as some folks feel a certain energy in the area or perhaps have visions.  We are, afterall, within the Bermuda Triangle!

It’s really lovely, peaceful and usually devoid of people and quiet.  I was able to find a shady spot on the sand and lay out my dolphin sarong to sit on while journaling.

After a while I had a nice long soak in the water to cool off and to watch the boats cruising in the distance.  Before long the sun was directly overhead and the once shaded area I was sitting in was now fully exposed.  Time to head for cover!

Lunch at the apt and then off for a walk “down town”.  I stopped at the cottages to hang out and picked up my novel again to continue on with the compelling story.  I’d gotten to a part that made it hard to put the book down!

We all, then, got onto the golf cart and made our way to the north end of the island, or shell beach.  It took two trips back and forth to taxi everyone up there but we made it!  Thank you, Madeleine!

We drove through Bimini Bay, the ever-growing, new resort.  I noticed that many more houses have been built and that so many more of the trees and vegetation have been removed to make way for more “progress”.  Sad.  Very sad.  The beach area that we used to fondly visit no longer has many trees.  However, those horrible green flies have not left and were out in full force (as I scratch my legs now)!

The above photo is looking north.  This beach rock is found throughout this area as well as sea grass and small fish as you swim about.

As the day light started to fade, the sky turned beautiful shades of blue and the sun became muted as the clouds took cover.

We all left after 7:30p and headed home for showers and dinner.  Olivia was kind enough to pick me up and shuttle me back to the cottages after I showered.  Dinner was prepared by all and was a fun evening!

 

Bimini Relaxing!

The last couple of days I have spent much of my days at various beaches.  The weather continues to be sunny, hot and humid!

Here is a view from where I’m staying at Dun’s of Bimini Bay Apts.

Friday night I joined the group for dinner at the Big Game Club which reopened over the Memorial Day weekend.  Their menu has been updated and most of the items were actually available (not always the case with restaurants here in Bimini!).  It was a fun night for all.

Later on that evening I was able to capture the full moon on the bay, across the street from my apt.

And so ends another day in Bimini….

 

More Bimini wind but loads of sun! June 25, 2010

The dolphin trips ended on Wednesday.  With the winds blowing, the seas were choppy!  This meant that we were not going to be able to swim with the dolphins if we found them beyond the island.  And we did!  We enjoyed watching them surf the waves and the bow of the boat.  Later on we stopped for a much-needed swim break and then back to looking for dolphins.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t a fin to be found!

Back at the hotel we all gathered in the suite for our last dinner together.  The chef made a delicious mahi-mahi, salad, veggies and baked potato dinner that we all enjoyed.  For dessert we had home-made carrot cake.  Yum!  Lots of laughter and chatting before retiring for the evening.

Thursday was a leisurely day with a morning swim in the ocean and reading a book under a palm tree along with a gentle breeze.  It doesn’t really get any better!  Does it?

We all meet at the Spook Hill beach for an afternoon of swimming and play. 

Afterwards we all walked over to Ebby’s for dinner and drinks.  It was a breezy evening, with the almost full moon over our heads.  The moonbeams danced off the bay as we ate, laughed and listened to Ebby serenade us.

Another day in paradise!   Stay tuned for more……

 

Bimini Winds! June 23, 2010

For the last two days we’ve had increasingly stronger winds around Bimini.  Monday we briefly got in the water with the dolphins and had them on the bow a few times.  We went to the Atlantis Road and snorkeled for a while and then returned to the dolphin grounds to search some more.  However, no dolphins.

Yesterday we left at the same time, 3:30p.  What a gorgeous day!  Beautiful blue skies and glistening aqua water.  The winds were a bit stronger, which we felt soon after we rounded the boat at the bottom of the island and started to head north.  After about an hour we met up with a group of 27 spotted dolphins!  Since the waters were rough, we observed them from the deck.  How thrilling it was to see them swimming all around the boat!  There were several young ones that leaped out of the water along with a group of older dolphins.  They eventually went their own way. 

We headed back towards the island and the wind protection that it offers and made several loops back and forth.  By 7:30p we were heading back towards the dock when we picked up several spotted dolphins on the bow!  They swam with us for a little while and then peeled off. 

Well, it was an interesting day on the boat.  I’m always thankful for the sunshine, warm waters and wonderful company aboard.  The dolphins just happen to be the icing on the cake!

Back to the dock for showers and dinner.  The chef’s theme was Cajun night!  Blackened shrimp, mahi-mahi and chicken.  It was so yummy.  For dessert he made my favorite:  peanut-butter cream pie.  I was in heaven!  We definitely need to do some power swimming with the dolphins tomorrow!!

 

A SUNNY DAY IN BIMINI June 21, 2010

Well, it started out sunny but then got very grey by 1pm.  We were planning on leaving the dock at 1p for our snorkel trip to the Atlantis Road but the weather was looking too “iffy” so our Captain rescheduled our departure for 3:30p.

The rain passed and we were able to leave the dock for the dolphin grounds.  We weren’t too far from the island when we saw our first group of dolphins.  We enjoyed watching them from the bow as they surfed the waves.  They weren’t interested in swimming with us as they swam by when we tried to join them.

So we got back on the boat and proceeded further out and away from the island.  We all talked, laughed and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. 

Some of us talked so much that we had to clamp them shut (this is our merman Todd, from Seattle)!!

We were delayed again by another set of showers that were passing through, along with this water-spout.  It was far enough away from us to remain safe.  Amazing!

Finally the weather passed and we went back to searching for dolphins.   We came across a few late in the evening and swam with them until the light started fading around 8p.

What a beautiful day it ended up being, despite several rain showers and a delayed start!  We’re looking forward to another dolphin day tomorrow!