Saturday, July 6, 2013

Boat to Bimini

When I mentioned yesterday that there are over 4,500 islands in Florida, that didn't include the Bahamas, which contains over 700 islands and 2,400 cays. In other words, that adds over 3,100 islands to our list - I don't really make a distinction between the terms "island" and "cay". An island is an island, saith I, just as a planet is a planet.

The Bahamas weren't included in yesterday's statistic, of course, because they're not part of Florida and not part of the United States; they're a semi-independent commonwealth under the auspices of the British Crown and you need a passport to go there. But they are, tantalizingly, right over there off the coast. Bimini, in fact, is practically spitting distance from Miami if you have a boat. And even if you don't, there's a $49 ferry that'll shuttle your butt there every day. So now what's stoppping you?

Bimini is especially notable to me for two reasons:

Hemingway. Bimini was a favorite hangout of Ernest Hemingway, who wrote To Have And Have Not here and stayed at the Compleat Angler Hotel during 1935-1937. The hotel, which housed a museum of Hemingway memorabilia, tragically burned up in a fire in 2006.

The Bimini Road. Also known as the Bimini Wall, this underwater assemblage of stones is apparently the remains of a lost civilization, which some have said to be the mythical Atlantis. (But of course, that title has been bestowed on many sunken ruins around the world.)

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