Review of my Experience on North Bimini at the Big Game Club Resort & Marina in North Bimini, Bahamas
Pulling into Bimini Bay just after Labor Day weekend, I expected the area to be left in shambles from the numerous Miami based tourists who had just visited. On arriving to the Big Game Resort and Marina early Tuesday morning, we found it to be quite the opposite. Crystal clear turquoise blue water greeted us as we entered the channel by boat. The various shades of blue, fluctuating in shade depending on the depth of water made me just stop and stare. Being a water-born boy at heart, I hadn’t been to the Bahamas by boat in years. Needless to say I was overdue for a dose of fishing, diving and extra-strength Kalik Gold Bahamian brew.
Bimini is a mere 50 miles from Miami. The ride across from Boca Raton, FL took roughly 2 1/2 hours at a cruising speed of 24 knots. With moderate chop at a consistent 3 feet and a captain with over 25 years experience navigating the Bahamian waters, it was a painless journey.
Just before we pulled into our slip, I noticed a large sign mentioning this particular harbors’ number of Bull Sharks. I’ve always had a sincere interest in marine life and marine conservation, so I was happy to hear of their abundance and was excited to see these amazing (and dangerous) creatures up close.
Bimini Bay Big Game Club Resort & Marina Review
The marina itself is nothing flashy. Faded dark wood pilings contrasting against the blue green of both the ocean and painted buildings evoked a sense of calm and history. Ernest Hemingway had made his home on this part of the island many years earlier. Drawn by the salty air, thirst of adventure and deep love for the sea, arriving here made me realize our passions were not far apart. On this trip, I elected to stay in one of the hotel rooms on the island as opposed to the cabin on the boat. The room was surprisingly large with comfortable mattresses, strong air-conditioning, cement flooring and even cable TV. I actually prefer the cement when I’m staying in a hotel on an island. It naturally helps keep the room cool.
Getting Around and the Drink of Choice on North Bimini, Bahamas
If you’re visiting North Bimini, don’t expect a ton to be going on during the week. This trip for me was largely to get away from a busy city and let the ocean calm my mind. The town on the island (Alice Town) is no more than 1 nautical mile long, with scattered 1 or 2 room bars. You’ll find the occasional breakfast and lunch mom and pop restaurant, and 1 or two other hotel properties. Nothing fancy, but that’s the way I wanted this trip to be. All of the locals around the island seemed to have a beer in hand at all hours of the day, so it wasn’t long until I was doing the same. Kalik Gold is the go-to beverage here. It’s a well known Bahamian beer that’s also sold in the states, but you can’t get the “Extra Strength” version unless you’re on the island. I took a few of these back with me to Austin.
Must Tries on North Bimini
- Bahamian Coconut Bread
Make sure you sample the coconut infused bread while you’re on the island. Whether you buy the bread alone or get it with your breakfast sandwich, try it. It’s infused with a light sweetness and the texture melts in your mouth.
- Conch Fritters
While I don’t eat much fried food these days, it goes without saying that you need to try the cracked conch. Or at least some variation of a conch dish while in the Bahamas. The fritters are phenomenal at the Bimini Bay Big Game Resort and Marina. Golden fried on the outside with a touch of Bahamian spice. The interior melts in your mouth and the texture is similar to that of a croquette from a nice Cuban or Venezuelan restaraunt… except it’s conch and not ham.
- Kalik Gold
Even though this blog focuses on wine, the Kalik Gold beer requires sampling. You’ve probably noticed I’ve already mentioned it a few times in this post. It has a higher alcohol content than most beers in its caliber, but despite this it has a tasty light-wheatiness to it with the colour of Corona that seems to match the shoreline on the island. As previously mentioned, you typically can’t find the true Kalik Gold “Extra Strength” blend in the states. They sell cases at the one liquor store on the island for upwards of $60 per case of 24. Expensive, yes. But given its flavor and difficulty to find domestically, many tourists frequently leave with at least one case when they visit the island.
How to Travel to Bimini
There are a number of methods available to anyone looking to make a trip out to North Bimini. We cover them in detail in this post. But generally, you can fly a small commercial aircraft run by Silver Airways out of Fort Lauderdale Airport. Other methods include water ferries, charter airlines of taking your own boat.
Local Life on North Bimini, Bahamas
Everyone I encountered in the streets was extremely friendly. Never did I pass by a local without him or her saying hello or want to stop for conversation. While most were just being friendly, the island is quite poor. You can expect some to inquire about work opportunities. The main source of income is tourism here, so it’s natural for the locals to want to engage you and make you feel comfortable. Keep this in mind as you walk about, and consider leaving a good tip here and there if you receive good service. It goes a long way.
I only spent two nights on the island, which was a good amount of time considering it was largely deserted except for the small number of locals scattered about. But in that time, we covered miles and miles of ocean trolling the blue water for fish. Unfortunately we only netted one Spanish Mackerel and a few obnoxious barracuda. But we also snorkeled a ship wreck off Gun Cay, swam with stingrays and Scuba-Dove with French Angelfish. Later Wednesday evening, I filleted the Spanish-Mackerel and was able to lure two 7 foot Bull Sharks below the filet table with the scraps. You can tell they’re bulls by the width of their heads.
All in all, a relaxing, revitalizing trip I recommend to any ocean-loving traveler. After experiencing the island and some of the other hotel options, I found the Bimini Bay Big Game Resort and Marina was the best choice for accommodation. The pricing, location, service and friendliness of the staff made an impression. Keep in mind that you’ll be paying a premium for most food and beverages on the island no matter where you stay here. It wasn’t uncommon to spend upwards of $100 for three people at lunch. If you want a little more action, book a trip around a weekend, but make sure you do it far in advance if you’re arriving to the island by boat. The marina is relatively small with few slips available.
As always, if you have any questions about the island or are looking for recommendations, please leave a note in the comment section below. We’re happy to help make your trip better!