Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for that perfect present? Check out Yachting's holiday gift guide for some stunning ideas.

Holiday Gift Guide

This year when making your holiday plans, cast old customs aside and embrace a new tradition — an island-inspired holiday dockside at the Bimini Big Game Club. This year’s gift guide showcases inspiring new clothing and gear selected by our editors to add a little tropical flair to any holiday gathering. By Christopher White
Photography by Pamela Jones
Pamela Jones

Holiday Gift Guide

To the End of the World
Gil Dunn received the ultimate gift at the 2002 Annapolis Boat Show when he bought himself a 32-foot True Wind catamaran. Growing up in South Florida, Dunn has always had a love for the ocean. "The first time I got out to sea it just clicked," Dunn said, sipping a glass of the Macallan Sherry Oak 18 years Scotch whisky as we sat at the End of the World Saloon on North Bimini. "I went out of the inlet and saw that deep dark blue, and tears were streaming down my cheeks." Now that he's retired, he's taking the time to truly enjoy the waters he's cruised so frequently before. "I just go where the wind blows," Dunn said. "There are so many islands and reefs in the Caribbean; it would take me a lifetime to see them all." Gil Dunn is wearing the Murray shirt in sleigh-bell plaid by Vineyard Vines ($145; www.vineryardvines.com) under J. Crew's lamb's wool button shawl ($70; www.jcrew.com) and a Yachting hat ($12.95; www.yachtingmagazine.com/store). On the table sits a bottle of the Macallan Sherry Oak 18 years Scotch whisky ($150; www.themacallan.com), a box of La Palina 1986 cigars ($19 each, $190 for the box; www.lapalinacigars.com) and a set of Yachting glasses ($15.95) and coasters ($22.95).
Pamela Jones

Holiday Gift Guide

In the Club
Henry Baer came to Bimini in 2008 as the project manager of the Bimini Big Game Club's $3.5 million renovation. Now he oversees the day-to-day operations as the club's general manager. "This is the heartbeat of the island," Baer said, as we sat in the club's restaurant, next to a wall adorned with images of one of the island's more famous residents, Ernest Hemingway. "I employed 82 locals during the renovation," Baer said, "many of whom joined our staff after the construction was done." Baer is wearing Tommy Bahama's Easy Breezer shirt ($110; www.tommybahama.com) and Bahama Five pants ($128), a pair of Sperry Top- Sider Gold Cup Driver one-eye loafers ($150; www.sperrytopsider.com) and Panerai's Luminor Marina 1950 three-day automatic titano ($8,000; www. panerai.com). On the table sits a freshly unwrapped Thunnus CI4 6000 reel from Shimano ($270; fish.shimano.com) and a box of Macanudo Vintage Maduro 1997 cigars ($9 each; www.cigarworld.com). At his feet rests Saddleback Leather Co.'s thin briefcase in chestnut ($423; www.saddlebackleather.com), and on the wall behind him is the carbon-fiber flag clock in chrome from Chelsea Clock ($450; www.chelseaclock.com).
Pamela Jones

Holiday Gift Guide

Seen above is a custom steel trout belt buckle by Orvis ($198; www.orvis.com).Pamela Jones

Holiday Gift Guide

A Local Master
Robbie Smith was born and raised on Bimini. He's worked for the Big Game Club for 22 years, the last four as the dockmaster. Coming off a busy opening season, Smith is looking forward to the winter. While the action slows somewhat, the Big Game Club hosted the first round of the Bahamas Wahoo Challenge in November. "That brings the boys in," Smith said, as he sat on the stairs leading up to the club's restaurant and bar. As we chatted, Smith, a die-hard fisherman, recalled a battle with a permit that he'd had a few weeks before. "Those permit, they put up a fight. I battled it for hours," he said. "I got that one mounted as a little gift to myself — felt like I had to." Smith is wearing a pair of Johnnie-0 all-weather shorts ($89; www.johnnie-o.com), Tommy Bahama's Emfielder polo ($78), a pair of Maui Jim Lahainaluna sunglasses ($309; www.mauijim.com) and a pair of Sperry Top-Sider Gold Cup two-eye boat shoes ($120). The Game is On
The Bimini Big Game Club was recently purchased by Guy Harvey Outpost and reopened for the 2010 season after a two-year, $3.5 million renovation. The company is looking to evolve the 51-room resort from just a "fishing lodge" into a first-class destination, attracting travelers who want to explore the marine ecosystem, natural beauty and local charm of the island. The resort consists of 35 regular rooms, 12 cottage rooms and four penthouse suites. The penthouse suites ($350 per night in the summer season, $285 in the winter) are made up of a living room, small kitchen with an island counter, and a large bedroom and bathroom — and are a wonderful way to experience the resort. Taking in the morning sunrise from the balcony with a fresh cup of coffee is a perfect way to greet each day. For more on the Big Game Club and to book your stay, visit www.biggameclubbimini.com. Head Down to Tie Up
If you're interested in spending your holiday season dockside at the Big Game Club, rates are $1 per foot per day in the winter months (long-term dockage over 30 days is 85 cents per foot). The 75-slip marina can accommodate vessels up to 145 feet. To book your stay, call 800-867-4764, or send an e-mail to info@biggameclubbimini.com.
Pamela Jones

Holiday Gift Guide

Shown in more detail above is the Vertu Ascent smartphone ($5,500; www.vertu.com).Pamela Jones

Holiday Gift Guide

A Living Legend
Ansil Saunders is a Bimini legend — and that title is not used lightly. Saunders has been on Bimini all of his life, making his living as a bonefishing guide and a builder of beautiful, custom bonefishing boats. But it is his clientele that sets him apart. A former neighbor of Ernest Hemingway, Saunders has met Margaret Thatcher (twice) and Queen Elizabeth, and was the guide for President Richard Nixon when he visited. Though, to Saunders, perhaps none of those people were as important as his favorite repeat client — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964, King came to Bimini to relax and write his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize, a speech that he reportedly wrote aboard one of Saunders' bonefishing boats as the two cruised through the mangroves. "He didn't want to fish," Saunders said as we stood in his shop. "He just wanted to relax." King returned in 1968 to spend time with Saunders and write what would be his final speech. "You could see it in his face," Saunders said. "Dr. King knew he wasn't going to make it to 40. 'You never finish paying your dues,' he said." Three days after he left Saunders, King was dead. Saunders is still bringing anglers to some of the island's best bonefishing grounds. Give him a call at 242-347-2696 and book a day on the water for you and your family.
Pamela Jones

Holiday Gift Guide

Out to Sea
"This used to be home," said Henry Baer of his 42-foot egg harbor convertible, as we headed out of Bimini Harbour and into the bright-blue waters of the Bahamas. Originally from New York, Baer is a longtime yachtsman. Before taking his post at the Big Game Club, he used to captain the 114-foot Broward Summer Breeze. Baer is wearing a Blood and Guts superlight long-sleeve shirt by Columbia Sportswear ($90; www.columbiasportswear.com), a pair of Tommy Bahama Key grip shorts ($88) and a pair of Sperry Top-Sider's Cloud Logo authentic, original chukkas ($120). Around his shoulders sits a crew-neck whale sweater by Vineyard Vines ($115), and a pair of David Yurman Phantom sunglasses ($495; www.davidyurman.com) rest on his shirt. He holds a Trinidad 30A reel by Shimano ($500), and at his feet is the Captain's Bag 2.0 by Old Harbor Outfitters ($220; www.oldharboroutfitters.com).
Pamela Jones

Holiday Gift Guide

Yachting's art director, David Pollard, is wearing a pair of reconstructed penny loafers from Sperry Top-Sider by Band of Outsiders ($195), a Tommy Bahamas Easy Breezer shirt, St. Tommy Bahama pants ($128) and a pair of Kaenon Sequence Gold C12 sunglasses ($339; www.kaenon.com). The messenger bag is by Not for Navigation ($175; www.notfornavigation.com).Pamela Jones

Holiday Gift Guide

Local Flavor
Mattinigue Stuart is a waitress at the Bimini Big Game Bar and Grill. A native of the island, she took us to her uncle Joe's conch salad stand down the street from the resort to show us how the locals make this classic Bahamian dish. Mattinigue is wearing a pair of Kaenon Soft Kore white pearl G-12 sunglasses ($239) and a Vineyard Vines Sandy Dollar top ($118).
Pamela Jones

Holiday Gift Guide

Seen above is a sea urchin clasp bracelet by David Yurman ($148).Pamela Jones

Holiday Gift Guide

Above is a pair of Sperry Top-Sider’s Ladyfish boots ($108).Pamela Jones

Holiday Gift Guide

Yachting's David Pollard wears a Garrett Tartan shirt by J. Crew ($65), David Yurman Safari sunglasses ($495) and the Admiral's Cup Chronograph 48 Centro by Corum ($8,600; www.corum.ch). In his hand is a canvas-leather iPad sleeve by Orvis ($149).Pamela Jones

Holiday Gift Guide

Pictured here is a bottle of Rosé from Robert Oatley Vineyards ($18; www.robertoatley.com) and a Vineyard Vines wine tote ($45).Pamela Jones

Holiday Gift Guide

Above are assorted ties by Vineyard Vines ($75 each). A Bahamian Holiday Tradition
Christmas in the Bahamas might be a lot like Christmas on other islands: The weather is warm, the people are friendly, and the food is delicious. So, you'll have to stick around until the early hours of the morning on Dec. 26 to see what really sets this place apart. The Bahamian festival of Junkanoo, a colorful parade of cultural music, dancing and costumes similar to New Orleans' Mardi Gras or Brazil's Carnaval, begins around 2 a.m. and runs through dawn and starts again on Jan. 1. While the most extravagant parade is held on the island of Nassau, the streets of Bimini come alive with this festival every year as well.
Pamela Jones