This was my first trip to the Bimini, and man was I excited. Even though I had been to other islands of the Bahamas, I had never been to Bimini, the closest Bahamas island to the United States. I was going with a tour group by bus from Atlanta to Miami to catch the Resort World Bimini SuperFast Ferry to Bimini. This bus trip would be a 10 hour drive from, but I was prepared for the roadtrip.
The tour group was a Peace Retreat in honor of Ms. Naomi King, sister-in-law of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Joe Beasley, a world-class humanitarian. We would also be honoring Mr. Ansil Saunders, a prize winning boat maker in Bimini who accompanied Dr. King who use to go to Bimini to rejuvenate from his work. Because Dr. King used to visit, the Bahamian Government erected a bust of Dr. King in Bimini as a memorial, andd we were going to see the historic bust on a retreat organized by The AD King Foundation and African Diaspora Tourism.
Dr. King used to go to Bimini for rest and relaxation. So we were going to do the same thing. Leaders of organizations from the Atlanta community and beyond were going by bus with us for a weekend peace retreat focusing on non-violent conflict resolutions. Leaders who had worked so hard all year deserved this much needed break. Lord knows we could all use some down time. Fun-in-the-sun, relaxation, experiencing Bahamian culture and just getting away for awhile really appealed to me. Bimini was also the perfect place for a culture heritage experience.
We all really had fun on the bus. We took pictures before boarding with some city officials who had come out to see us off. Excited about going with us were the “Four Little Girls” who had been in the play about the girls who were killed in the Birmingham Church bombs during the Civil Rights movement. The AD King Foundation had sponsored these four girls who were happy to pose for pictures with us. We all got on the bus, chatted, and clowned around for a while, ate snacks that we had bought with us and then everyone fell asleep.
We arrived in Miami the next morning, but missed our connection to catch the ferry. The bus got caught in traffic and could not find the departure dock. After being disappointed, we felt better after learning that we would take the ferry to Bimini the next day We would get to have some fun in Miami. The first place that came to my mind was South Beach. Yeah! I had been to South Beach many times, but I can never get enough of South Beach. There were several people on the tour that were my aged and we partied the night away in South Beach.
We got up very early the next day to catch the Bimini SuperFerry to Bimini. There were many people waiting outside to board the ferry. But the lines moved pretty fast and Ms. King, Mr. Beasley and a few other senior citizens on the trip with us were able to cut the line and was escorted in wheel chair to board the ferry. The ferry ride was the bomb, Even though the ride was about an hour and a half, we got to get in a lot of fun, There was dancing, eating, drinking, basking in the sun and there was even a mini-casino on board the ferry. I got to do it all!
When we approached the islands of Bimini, we had to board a smaller boat to get to the island. Riding this smaller boat was a joyous trip because there was singing, chatting and laughing. We were meet at the dock by Bahamas Tourism who welcomed us and gave us a warm greeting. They were especially glad to see Ms. King whom they treated like royalty. We were immediately taken to the bust of Dr. King. located in the center of town where we had the Peace Ceremony dedicated to Ms. King, Mr. Beasley and Mr. Saunders, who received plaques for their work in promoting world peace. There were also some locals of Bimini and the Nassau on hand for the ceremony.
Bimini is such a serene and peaceful island. I can certainly see why Dr. King sought solace there. The people of the island were so friendly. I really did feel like I was close to heaven, just witnessing the clear skies, vegetation and crystal blue waters. The islands are so beautiful. Everything really is better in the Bahamas!
But you must go and see for yourself. Now Bimini is more accessible than ever with the addition of the Resort World Bimini SuperFerry from Miami. You now have a choice between flying and taking a ferry. When visiting Bimini, be sure to go to the new Resort World Casino, for a fun night of rolling the dice and playing the slots. This casino is like no other with its views of the ocean. Big John’s is the night spot to check out, where local and tourist alike hang out. You can enjoy all types of music, dancing and good Caribbean food here.
In addition to seeing the bust of Dr. King in the town square, you must take the boat ride to see it in the mangroves where Dr. King use to go for some quiet time with nature. Also also check out the Bimini Straw Market where there are dozens of vendors with all types of good. Take time to visit the Bimini Museum where you can see island artifacts and celebrity momentos. By all means check out the waters of the “Healing Hole” Bimini’s signature attraction, a pond that swimmers have reported to have healing properties.
Bimini is the place to go for all types of fun in the sun, fishing, boating, and other water sports. You can just relax on the beautiful island as Dr. King did and enjoy the sunlight, vast vegetation and the cool ocean breeze. you will find places to do yoga and spas pampering yourself while there. A great place to stay is the Resorts World Bimini Resort, Bimini Big Game Resort, Bimini Ocean Villas, or Sea Crest Hotel and Marina. All of these places are in the AliceTown, the main city in Bimini where everything is so accessible. For more information and to plan your trip visit, www.bahamas.com/islands/bimini.