Cruising to Bimini

Its convenient location, fantastic fishing and crystalline waters make Bimini a “why not?” port of call.
Bimini shipwreck
Bimini is easily reachable from Florida for most cruisers, and yet it’s a world away. [sailingaway]/

As the closest Bahamian port to the United States, Bimini is an easy and fun weekend run from South Florida for cruisers. And Bimini’s excellent sport fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving have given this pair of tiny islands an outsize reputation as a popular cruising destination.

Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina

Bimini is known as the sport-fishing capital of the world. Since 1936, this pioneering outfitter in Alice Town on North Bimini has hosted boats that ply the warm waters along the western edge of the Gulf Stream, where charter clients have bagged brag-worthy specimens of bonefish, billfish and tuna over the decades. The resort is just as well known for its dive center, founded in 1975 by Neal Watson, president of the Bahamas Dive Association. The resort’s lively Bimini Seafood Co. & Conch Bar is a popular spot for its weekly theme nights (including Lobster Sundays) and international sporting events on its big screens.

The Sapona Wreck

If only the weather-worn walls of the SS Sapona could talk. This wreck that’s now a navigational landmark for cruisers and a popular fishing, diving and snorkeling destination had originally been destined to serve as a cargo vessel during World War I, but its production ran longer than the war did. A Florida rum runner used the ship briefly as a floating warehouse in Bahamian waters during Prohibition until a hurricane ran it aground in 1926 just a few miles off Bennett’s Harbor in South Bimini. With a maximum depth of only 20 feet, the Sapona appeals to divers and snorkelers of all skill levels who frequently spot barracuda, triggerfish, large lobsters and many other species among the ship’s spooky, rusty remains.  joe’s conch shack There’s a reason there’s usually a line at this small, open-air conch shack between Bailey Town and Resorts World. The freshness and generous portions of the conch salad—usually handmade by Joe himself—make Joe’s Conch Shack a must-stop on any Bimini itinerary. Grab a Kalik beer—especially if you liberally apply the pepper sauce to the conch salad—and enjoy this refreshing island staple along with the harbor views.

Edith’s Pizza & Bahamian Food

Lobster pizza, using the sweet local style of Bimini bread dough for its crust, is the calling card of this island favorite on King’s Highway near Bailey Town. Pick up this distinctive pie for lunch or dinner any day of the week.

Dolphin House Museum

For 30 years, this “poem in stone” has provided a touch of whimsy and artistry in Alice Town. Local author and historian Ashley Saunders assembled this three-story museum from treasures collected on Bimini’s beaches and from recycled materials around the island. Colorful mosaics line the walls, populated by pods of dolphins like the one that first inspired Saunders’ creation. The artist himself is often on-site, providing guided tours to visitors and adding new scenes to his remarkable labor of love.