Click for Llebroc List Your Boat Click for Ocean Alexander Click for Mag Bay Click for JetForums

Bimini is a ghost town...

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Pascal, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,635
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    crossed to Bimini this morning, it's a ghost town. 4 boats at the Bimini Bay "megayacht" marina, a handful at their other marina on the south side of the resort.

    Big Game is closed, other alice town marinas are almost completly empty.

    sad sight.
  2. stevenpet

    stevenpet New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Monterey, Maui, Salt Lake City
    Isnt' this supposed to be the height of the season in the Caribbean?

    Is this entirely the result of the recession/depression?

    How have the other marinas in the Bahamas and the Caribbean been?
  3. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,635
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    i've heard that Marinas in Nassau are down by as much as 50%...

    supposedly Bimini gets busy in the spring and summer when the weather makes it easier for boats from SoFl to cross. I woudl still expect more boats though, especially snowbirds.
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    13,052
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Bimini has no calling card anymore. It's $300 to check in, which has made a lot of the weekend boaters not even bother running over there anymore. When it was $100 it was no big deal. The Complete Angler is no longer there which was the only decent bar on the island. The main street is a drag strip now, when ten years ago you'd be lucky to pass a golf cart when walking down it. The fishing is no longer all that great. There are no good restaurants. They no longer have the Bacardi tournaments. I guess, Bimini has lost any charm that it once had....... Plus, you can't hardly keep any of the fish you catch.....I think it's 20lbs of reef fish (filleted) and 40lbs of pelagic...... so one nice Grouper or Wahoo and you've caught all of the fish you can keep........
  5. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    2,406
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Sounds about right....:(

    I was in St, Croix last month and found the same thing:

    Boarded up and no action.

    The economy goes way beyond your local Winn-Dixie:

    Joe Six-pack and his Sey Ray not only lost his boat but also his job and it
    ain't no way he is crossing over to Bimini just to hang out and smoke cigars in the sunset.
    Even Joe Sport-Fish is cutting back and now enjoying the Discovery Channel more than his mortgaged Brateras and his girlfriends are all for staying home and hoping to salvage the house and the car..Screw the boat and them rods...:(

    Bimini?

    A faint memory and a possible future destination after Obama and Bin laden kiss and make up.:rolleyes:
  6. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,393
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    There is an old saying " Don't squeeze the Goose that laid the Golden Egg"

    I guess this was never a story told to little ones by their parents in the Bahamas, or if it was the message was somehow lost.
  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,635
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    good summaries... for those who dont' fish though, you still can't beat the beach, snorkeling and clear water. There is good snorkeling / diving in the keys but no beaches and very few decent anchorages for larger boats.

    Construction is still underway at the bimini bay resort and marina, i wonder how long they're going to keep it going. cant' imagine the sales office is that busy...

    another major change to Bimini is how the new resort destroyed a good chunk of the beach, it's just not the same anymore. Apparently they still have plans for more development north of the marina with a golf course at the northern point.
  8. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1,436
    Location:
    Sarasota/Ft. Lauderdale FL
    Just what Bimini needs, golf course run off.
  9. Loren Schweizer

    Loren Schweizer YF Associate Writer

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,361
    Location:
    Coral Gables/Ft. Laud., FL
    " Dat place got so popular, nobody goes 'dere anymore."

    ---Y. Berra
  10. CaptNeil

    CaptNeil Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    East Coast
    Harbour Island used to be a ghost town now it is standing room only!:confused:
  11. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1,436
    Location:
    Sarasota/Ft. Lauderdale FL
    Yeah, they F up that place up real good. They are talking about putting in stop lights just for all the golf carts running around now.
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    13,052
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    I agree. It's a bunch of uppety uppety people and has lost it's old world charm and you can't get a table at dinner and the restaurants are all half full because the New Yorkers make reservations at every restaurant and only go to one?
  13. VikHatBer

    VikHatBer New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Miami, FL and the Keys
    The $300 tax really killed any chance of weekend boaters propping up Bimini's economy. Bimini's problems started in 2000-2001 when the Bahamian government let the entrance to North Bimini get silted in. A lot of big boats that drew more than 5 feet ran aground right in front of Bimini Sands, and many others were scared away when the word spread. Add to this the deterioration and poor management of the Big Game Club, and the burning down of the Compleat Angler... there's no reason to go to Bimini.

    I haven't been to Harbor Island in probably 10 years. Most of the new marinas in the Bahamas have that 'Cat Cay' snob feel to them. It would make me happy to see some of these snotty resorts fail. Many of these projects probably never left the ground; they saw their bitter end when no one returned phone calls from their boat show booths the last couple years.

    I remember Boat Harbor in the mid to late 90's was probably the friendliest 'big marina' in the Bahamas. I remember meeting Dale Earnhardt, Jimmy Johnson, and many other famous people there, and I remember they were as normal and laid back as you and me. Why does that seem like a bygone era?
  14. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,635
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    part of the Bimini Bay resort construction was a new channel thru the reef/shoal. The range at the south end of the beach on South Bimini is still there but the new channel, further up is deeper. We draw 6+ and I never saw less than 10' in the channel.

    at least that's one good thing!!!

    the charts show some markers or bouys, dont' look for them they're long gone... but you can easily read the water and find the channel.

    i still can't get over how dead bimini was... on friday, Honeymoon Harbor was empty, we were the only boat there. I think that nice water, beaches, etc... is the reason to go to Bimini, it's only 45NM away. Closer than islamorada, and MUCH nicer.

    i think the $300 is what killed Bimini, that's the dumbest thing the bahamian govt. could do. they should convert the **** thing into an annual permit that lets you go back and forth without checking in... that's also a complete waste of time.
  15. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    2,406
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Agree.

    Much nicer.

    As for Honeymoon Harobur..Never again:

    Been there many times and heard the stories of bad holding, etc.
    Being my own man I took some of the tales with a grain of salt as I knew how to anchor and I knew how to stay out of trouble....:rolleyes:

    Here is a story I wrote in Honeymoon 3 years ago:

  16. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    10,293
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Ouch! Maybe though it was only Murphy's little sister with you. In 8' of water, assuming 4' up to the bow, 40 feet of chain only gives you about a 4:1 scope. Not much for a windy day. (2) tow lines snapping? The skipper of the motor boat is lucky to still have a head. Finally, digging your way through your canal it's surprising that you didn't suck the bottom into your motor. Sounds like a 'should have stayed in bed' day.
  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    13,052
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    A lot of people don't know it, but you can come back to the Bahamas for free another time if it's within 90 days of the first time with the $300 customs fee.
  18. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    2,406
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Aye, no Mr. Sherlock..I don't do no less that 5 or 7 to 1...If ya read less in my story, typo or you were drunk..(Me..? No Officer, no way..Look: shaky not me..:D )

    Aye, no again...This was not a steel-wire snapping of a supertanker..Just a tired 'ol 3/4 nylon acting like a rubber band for a few lazy seconds...Then it fell to the surface, nobody got even close to getting whipped around the ears.

    My fault indeed: Thought I had good clean lines..UV made 'em brittle over the years, no mold or chafe..They looked new but snapped all over the place.

    (25' skiff with a 200HP Merc outboard..Say 50% effiency on the prop and 75% on the engine..Sounds good with lots of smoke and growl but not much bollard pull..Enough to snap my tired 'ol line however..Allah knows I went to West Marine and bought 300' of New England Rope the next day: 3/4 inch, 3-strand..Keep it under deck for the winter season and attached to the boat for the summer/hurricane season)

    Aye, real men drive sailboats...Look at avatar to Port. (left for landlubbers)

    Sailboats have deep keels and sturdy skippers.

    (Yes you are right, the mud could have screwed with my cutlass bearing and the raw water pump but once in a while ya have to call full speed ahead, **** the torpedos..This was one of those times..;) )

    hey..Don't argue with my story while I am sipping rum and celebrating something else..I just popped up to say hello and tell my Honeymoon Harbour story, then some dang NewYorker start raising hell and questioning my scope...:mad:
    Be very careful, I may have to call Tony Soprano and have things taken care of.

    Not good, not good at all..:eek:


    On the other hand, come on down to Florida and I will buy the beer and teach anchoring techniques...:D
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    10,293
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Hey, sorry about that Norseman, I was trying to point up the bright side, not critisize. Had read the 40' for the small anchor/ 50' for the big. Missed the 'further' and it wasn't the original dragged anchor anyway. My bad :eek: .
    Me and Tony may actually be coming down soon. Will get in touch for that beer if there's time. :D
  20. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,635
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    J, that's what we did this time, came back in on the same fee. that second entry was a too little too late gesture to boaters from the bahamian Gvt. following the uproar and "boycotts" when they passed the fee. they simply dont' get it... Why can't they do a local boater option similar to what we have on this side so you dont' have to clear in person once you've cleared once? Who wants to spend 1/2 hour filing out paper work, repeating name, addresses, passport nrs, on 3 or 4 forms, attesting that nobody died on the voyage and that no rats or mices were found carrying the plague? Then walking to town (or taking a cab from Bimini Bay) and go to two different offices, they can't even set up in the same building?? (immigration used to be next to customs, now it's half a mile away...)

    If they made the $300 an annual fee, and let poeple come back and forth on the same cruising permit for a year, you bet business would quickly pick up in Bimini.

    Norseman,
    Honeymoon Harbor is a good weather/day anchorage only... i dont' think i'd spend the night there unless i coudl be reasonably sure that the weather was going to hold. Holding seems pretty good though. That's the draw back of bimini, there are no good anchorages if the weather goes down, and most is open to surge. Rigging the boat into the wave/swells is nice but it also dramatically increase the windage and scope/anchor requirements.

    In easterlies you can also anchor out on the west side of Gun, just south of the HH entrance. good holding, but again some surge. I anchored there on the last trip since i wasn't 100% sure i could get in HH with a 6+ draft and wanted to try it with the tender first...

    when on the hook, i always set a portable GPS with anchor alarm by my bed... reception is good thru the glass deck.

    in any case, not too many places like this within 50NM of florida...

    Attached Files: