Bimini history, by land and by sea

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The Sapona was grounded by a hurricane in 1926; today it’s a popular snorkeling site.
The Sapona was grounded by a hurricane in 1926; today it’s a popular snorkeling site. Photo Credit: Eric Moya

Resorts World Bimini can help guests arrange a number of activities, from diving excursions and watersports equipment rentals to charters to participate in the area's famed sport fishing.

Our group's excursions included a boat ride to the Sapona shipwreck. The concrete-hulled vessel was grounded by a hurricane in 1926 and has been there since. Today it's a busy scuba and snorkeling site as well as a popular diving platform, at least for those brave enough to take the plunge from its fore, about 40 feet above the water's surface (for our group, only our guide did it).

The next day we toured North Bimini points of interest including the Dolphin House (local historian Ashley Saunders' kitschy, conch-shell-strewn tribute to Bimini history and culture) and the site of the hotel where Ernest Hemingway is said to have worked on "To Have and Have Not."

A short ferry ride brought us to South Bimini, where we took a quick hike on its 1-mile nature trail to survey its flora (palms and poisonwood) and fauna (birds, iguanas and snakes) and visited the Fountain of Youth. The island was the focus of Ponce de Leon's search for the fabled water source, though he never made it; the well we visited was dedicated in 1998. I couldn't resist taking a sip; it was mildly sulfurous. I don't think de Leon was missing out, but I guess time will tell.  

For more information, visit www.biminiundersea.com.

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