Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Weather Delay

Mike, Nan, John and Brian aboard Whispering Jesse at Blue Water Marina
We packed in as much activity as possible during our short time on Bimini. The day after our arrival, we went on a snorkeling trip to the S.S. Sapona shipwreck, a ferro-cement cargo ship that sank in an upright position south of Bimini during a hurricane in 1926. The sea life that call the wreck their home were impressive, as was the wreck itself, especially the enormous propeller, still attached to the partially submerged, broken-off stern.

As we had done with the snorkeling trip, we coordinated a golf cart rental through the Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina, conveniently located just down the road from Blue Water Marina. There was a limit to how much we could see by foot and we wanted to explore farther to the north. Specifically, we wanted to see Resorts World Bimini, the resort and casino development near the north end of North Bimini. Nan and I used to pass their billboards in Miami and had wanted to take the inexpensive, high-speed cruise ship over for a quick weekend, but now we had arrived by other means. The enormous development was mostly deserted, except for small pockets of people at the pools and casino. We learned that the cruise ship was not currently running, which limited access to only those visitors willing to arrive by airplane. At the north end of the development, where their best beach is located, we expected to continue on a road around the northernmost point of the island to the pristine beaches on the east side of the island, but the way was blocked by new construction projects and employee housing--what a shame!

Approaching the S.S. Sapona shipwreck for a snorkeling adventure
There is a ferry that runs frequently between North and South Bimini, and we completed our tour of the islands one afternoon by taking it across to South Bimini. The ferry drops passengers off at a parking lot, where there is a shuttle bus that goes to the airport and the island's two resorts. We got off at Bimini Sands Resort & Marina to check on the accommodations. We found the marina to be hot, lacking in character, and full of biting sand gnats, so we retreated to the air-conditioned upstairs bar for ice-cold Kalik beers. Some sailors swear by the place, but we were happy we had chosen to stay at Blue Water Marina.

Our original plans called for us to leave Bimini early on Monday, April 18, but the southeast wind we bucked on the way over had shifted around to the north, against the current, creating large waves and making a return trip inadvisable until conditions changed. This was bad news for Mike, who needed to fly out of Miami on Tuesday. He set about coordinating a connecting flight from the Bimini airport and departed early that day, missing the possibility of some actual sailing on the return trip. Brian, Nan and I focused on the weather reports and kept our fingers crossed for a Thursday or Friday departure.

No comments: