TOTAL MILES TRAVELED TODAY: 46 NM
By the time the sun's fingers were grasping the morning sky, we were anchor up and underway. It was “So long Florida” and ”Look out Bahamas, here we come!” This was the perfect weather window to make crossing and we were ready. Well, good thing it wasn’t a rough day. With the waves coming from the side and the forceful Gulf Stream, Dan had his hands full and our estimated five hour journey took about six as we zigged and zagged our way across. At one point, poor Dick was sent flying when he was pitched out of the chair. Needles to say, soon everything was down and secured for the rest of the rocky trip.
|PROUDLY DISPLAYING THE COLORS|
|HELLO SUN, GOODBYE FLORIDA!|
We were unprepared for the breathtaking beauty and clarity of the water as we approached the cut that took us through the chain and into the Alice Town Harbor. I think we have arrived! Our goal was Bimini Blue Water Resort and when we were unable to reach them on the radio Dan just began sidling up towards the dock. J.R. caught sight of our approach and met us with welcoming smiles and assistance with the lines.
|LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL WATER!|
|BLUE SKIES, BILLOWING PALMS AND FISHING BOATS|
Soon we were secured and on our way to the local customs and immigration offices to check into the Bahamas. J.R. had given us all the necessary paperwork to fill out and this proved to be extremely easy process.
|DICK, CHERYL AND DAN AT CUSTOMS|
|CHERYL AND JUDY TOOK CARE OF IMMIGRATION|
With our official work done, we were ready to take off and explore this section of our island. Being Sunday, everything was closed but each person we met gave us a friendly greeting and we have staked out many sites to visit tomorrow. We tested the waters on the west shore, found beautiful conch shells littering the sand and discovered this lovely old Methodist Church as we walked along. The minister saw us gawking and extended his invitation to “Go on in if you like, the doors are open!” This Wesley Methodist Church, established in 1858, has weathered both the elements and the changing times. FYI: Dick's grandfather and father were both Methodist ministers.
|CHERYL AND JUDY SHELLING AND TESTING THE WATERS|
|CHERYL AND DICK AT THE WESLEY METHODIST CHURCH|
Bimini was passed up by Ponce de Leon in 1513 as he was searching for the Fountain of Youth (foolish man) then in the 1600s it was a haven for the pirates who reaped the bounties from the many boats that wrecked in the shallow waters. The installation of lighthouses put an end to this prosperous enterprise though. Prohibition (1920-1933) offered the islanders another profitable opportunity. Due to the relatively short hop to Florida, the rum-running trade flourished until the repeal of the 18th Amendment. By 1935 Bimini had been discovered by Hemingway and other avid fishermen as one of the oceans best fishing grounds.