Bahamas Bliss – Through the View Finder – March 2013

Covering the people, places and ‘tings of the “Family”– Bahamas Out Islands.

A bit of “sip sip” for March…


My goodness, The Bimini’s have been a-bustling with many new beginnings in the tourism sector.

Baleria Bahamas Express: The Miami to Bimini ferry is up and running: Fri-Sat-Sun. only, for now, until high summer season when more departure days are planned; arriving in downtown North Bimini at the government dock—a perfect opportunity to shop at the Craft Market Center located to the right of customs clearance. Check their website and Facebook page for special promotions. Toll Free Reservations: 1-866-699-6988

Sculptor Erik Blome’s bronze statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. PHOTO CREDIT: Sandra Davis.

The Bimini Bahamas Plaque Project, with Martin Luther King III, government, and community officials in attendance saw the recent placement of sculptor Erik Blome’s bronze statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Craft Center Market band shell , and a temporary housing (awaiting a weather proofed podium) within his beloved Bimini Mangroves.

Dr. King, sought inspiration in the beautiful mangroves during the writing of his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, while being guided by local boat-builder, famed bonefish guide, Ansil Saunders.

Neal Watson, Sr. (A/K/A-“Dive God”) and president of the Bahamas Diving Association has recently returned to his dive roots in South Bimini, with a new dive shop and 30 passenger dive boat at Bimini Sands Resort & Marina Beach Club. Neal is offering super dive packages with accommodation at the fabulous Bimini Sands Resort & Marina (, and is the only Nitrox station in the Bimini’s.  Packages maybe booked through their new reservations center Toll Free:  1-800-737-1007/U.S. local at 954-615-1011 or, For more information visit Neal’s website.

Speaking of Bimini Sands Resort & Marina, the resort is offering a nifty rooms’ gallery on their website. Here you can view and pick out the very accommodation you desire via an interactive ‘rooms’ menu, which includes a gallery of pictures showcasing each condo-villa offerings.

Fishing with Hemingway, how many people can say that? John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest, and a fine author in his own right, participated in the recent Wahoo Tournament at the Bimini Big Game Club Hotel & Marinawhile writing an article on Bimini. Also, at the Big Game Club, a new shark cage attached to a floating dock for viewing shark feeding via SCUBA or SNUBA…safely.  Operational soon. US Local Reservations Tel: (800) 867-4767.

The Bimini Bullrun, a shark cage attached to a floating dock for viewing shark feeding via SCUBA or SNUBA safely, coming to Bimini Big Game Club. PHOTO PROVIDED BY: Bimini Big Game Club.

Tropic Ocean Airways, with seaplane service from Key West, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale to Bimini, has taken delivery of a nine passenger amphib Caravan. The new beauty is being painted the same vivid colors as the existing smaller plane and will be in service in April according to CEO, Rob Ceravolo. Toll Free Reservations: 1-800-767-0897.

For those who remember the “Calypsonians” at the Compleat Angler, you’ll be happy to know that Uncle Lou, Porgy, Stevie S., and Pip have reunited to form the “Primetime Band.” They may be seen at the recently renovated “Big John’s Bar” on Saturday nights. For original recordings of Ossie Brown’s “Calypsonians”, look up local historian, author, Ashley Saunders, at the Dolphin House in North Bimini; he has CD’s for sale. Ashley’s Phone: 347-3201 or, ask the Bimini Tourism Office to contact him.

Huge congratulations to the Bimini Biological Field Station, South Bimini, a/k/a  “The Shark Lab” on winning the Cacique Award for Sustainable Tourism.


Hopetown Harbour Lodge, Elbow Cay, Abaco, has added a swanky boutique to an already gorgeous property. Operated by Ms. Vanessa Pritchard (Nassau born and raised), and author of the 700 Experience Blog and Facebook Page. Vanessa hand picks all Bahamian made items which are unusual, artistic, and exquisite…seriously, top-of- the- line-fabulous.  This lady has style.

The new Hopetown Inn and Marina offers deep water slips up to 125 feet and moorings for boats up to 45 feet, including 30/50 AMP service.

The brand new Hopetown Inn &  Marina (former Club Soleil) recently opened with a large party to proudly show off their new gingerbread trimmed villa accommodations, pool with swim-up bar, restaurant, offering a fantastic view of the historical, candy-striped Hopetown Lighthouse, and  brand new 50 slip surge free marina equipped with first class pedestals.  The marina offers deep water slips up to 125 feet and moorings for boats up to 45 feet, including 30/50 AMP service. Hop over to their website for a view.

Man-Of-War Cay: The tiny Heritage Museum, has a fund raiser dinner scheduled for March 30–many repairs are needed for the 100 year old building. Quirky and cool, Lubber’s Landing Eco Resort, Lubbers Quarters Cay, is offering  daily weather reports along with humorous musings on their blog and Facebook page.  Did I mention their too-divine burgers?

Pete’s Pub & Gallery, Little Harbour, Abaco site of the famed sculptor Randolph Johnston Foundry, is offering pub catering for special events, and yes, that can include Pete’s famous, roasted pig feast. As of January 1, Pete’s Pub is now open every day.

Guana Cay’s Sunday’s must-stop at Nippers Beach Bar & Grill is busy, busy, busy. Get there early in all seasons. Barefoot Man is on hand for his twice a year concerts which are always sold out way in advance and boats and folks are chock a block.

Delphi Club, Rolling Harbour: A small luxury hotel and fishing lodge about thirty minutes from Marsh Harbour International Airport. This gorgeous 18th century colonial plantation great house look-a-like is a relative newcomer—opening in 2009—to the Abaco’s fly-fishing and birding world: wild Abaco parrot tours; while their hospitality certainly isn’t, the owner of this property, Peter Mantle, is also the owner of the esteemed multi-award-winning Delphi Lodge in Ireland – a country house and fishing lodge that is listed in “A Thousand Places To See Before You Die.” January guests took advantage of good conditions in the Marls to notch up record catches for the month.  As Delphi Club now heads into the main busy season, there are very few openings between now and mid-May. But, there are still a few rooms available over Easter between March 27th and April 1st. There are then some gaps in late May and early June. From mid-June on, a special offer package is available . This offer will remain applicable to a mid-July closedown.

Shades of Penny Turtle! Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbour Marina, Marsh Harbour,  known for terrific accommodations, cuisine, and gracious staff, along with hosting outstanding fishing tournaments through the years, is now gearing up for the sold out, Custom Shoot-Out, benefiting Breast Cancer Research, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society,  an “Invitation Only” billfish tournament, limited to “custom-built”(non-production) 32′ or larger inboard sport-fishing boats, May 15-May 18….waiting list.

In Green Turtle Cay, Hospitality Cacique award winner, Molly Lewis McIntosh, Assistant GM-Sales Manager, has been a very busy lady, hosting a number of groups at the lovely Green Turtle Club Resort and Marina, the popular Gully Roosters Band continues to play at the resort to SRO crowds.

Vaughn Cochran’s—noted fly fisherman, artist, retailer (BlackFly Outfitter) and former Jimmy Buffet Coral Reefer band member—Schooner Bay, BlackFly Lodge, Sandy Point, Abaco is well on its way to opening soon. His restaurant, BlackFly, The Restaurant, with amazing wine cellar in St. Augustine, Florida, is receiving fine reviews as well.

Harbour Island, Eleuthera

India Hicks of Harbour Island, Eleuthera, bridesmaid to Princess Diana, and granddaughter of the late Earl Of Mountbatten Burma, has added new pieces to her stunning jewelry and clothing line, in addition to a model shoot— with her daughter— for Ralph Lauren’s new catalog– shot on gorgeous Harbour Island.

Valentines Resort  is offering cost-savings packages for flyers, boaters, and divers through June.

The oh-so-chic, upscale, Landing Hotel has some interesting new items on offer from their Afro-Head collection (named after the first Miss Bahamas-Brenda Barry, gorgeous mom of GM/Co-Owner-Tracy Barry.)

Special Travel Offers

The Bahamas Out Island Promotion Board has extended the popular Fly Free To The Bahama Out Islands Package. Booking window:  Now through June 30th, 2013.  Travel period: Now through October 31st, 2013. The Offer: Book a 4 night air-inclusive package from Nassau at any participating Out Islands Resort and receive 2 free plane tickets; Book a 3 night air-inclusive package from Nassau and receive 1 free plane ticket. Based on single or double occupancy bookings. Offer includes all applicable government and airline taxes and fees. To book, Call The Bahamas Out Islands Reservations Service at 1.866.689.5505 or, any of the participating Resort Direct Hotels listed on the Out Islands website.

‘Til next time…and more islands, may all good things be yours.

She done reach…


Travel photojournalist Sandra Davis, is the author of Bahamas Bliss: Bimini (iTunes & Android app). Since her first visit to the out-out Bahamas islands in 1979, she became an enthusiastic advocate of all things related to these beautiful outposts.

Readers are welcome to send notes of hotel/restaurant employee promotions, awards, and tourism related news to: