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OK.. a great Post about Bimini..

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  • 2amigo2amigo Posts: 7,015 Admiral
    Great pics!! Except maybe that first one of Gary doing a semi spread eagle in the chair
  • Venture Ho!Venture Ho! Posts: 47 Deckhand
    Wow, back when Gary had short hair :)
  • IncommunicadoIncommunicado Posts: 35 Deckhand
    A pic in support of those who went and enjoyed themselves in less than a 30 foot something with trips..
  • INTREPID377INTREPID377 Posts: 3,736 Captain
    A pic in support of those who went and enjoyed themselves in less than a 30 foot something with trips..

    Lookin' good.
  • testerman28testerman28 Posts: 1,329 Officer
    great shot of your boat..
  • Blue ZoneBlue Zone Posts: 414 Officer
    Sorry for the re-post from last year, but I thought it might be apropos to the thread. It renewed memories of this adventure for me, so thanks.


    When I was 15 I had a 16’ Whaler and that summer I enlisted a pal to run down to the Keys to boat camp for 10 days or so. We lived in Vero and figured it to be a two-day run both ways. The first night we anchored in Lake Worth and slept on the boat. The next morning we stopped off at Bahia Mar to fuel up. There were about 6 or 8 boats at the fuel dock getting ready to leave for Bimini in some sort of organized event. Well, my pal and I looked at each other about the same time knowing what was crossing each other’s minds. I went back to the boat, checked the charts and quickly figured Bimini was much closer than our intended destination, Islamorada.

    I looked at the limp flag hanging over the marina, and came up with a plan. We would let the big boys get a head start and we would shadow them over to Bimini. Just in case I plotted an approximate compass heading off the big chart with a piece of fishing line. We stocked up on extra cheese crackers and cokes and headed out the inlet.

    The sea was smooth with a gentle swell and in no time we caught up with the other boats, which were mostly cruisers running quite slow. After a couple of hours this got to be a little tedious, running just off a plane, too fast to troll and too slow to overcome the adrenaline build-up. We waved good-bye to our escorts and motored off solo, direction Bimini. After another 30 minutes we were out of sight of the armada but I did keep an eye on the following fleet up to that time to make sure they were going in the same general direction as we were. In fact now we were out of sight of anything at all. At this point we stopped to have a snack.

    We sat there for a pretty long while just in absolute awe of the deep blue of the Stream which neither of us had seen before. By the way, I did have the good sense to calculate the northerly flow of the Stream from the beginning. After starting off again and seeing absolutely nothing I became a little concerned as I remembered seeing the skyline of Lauderdale and Miami for a good while and the horizon in front of us at this point was totally featureless. About this time I tapped the compass just to make sure it was wasn't hung up, checked the fuel level all the while trying to conceal my worried state from my mate. After what seemed like an eternity, which was probably only about 15 minutes my mate yells that he sees a boat. Or something. Then it disappeared. (thinking back this may have been Isaacs Light). Then this something re-immerged became bigger and longer; an island even. We were now jumping around and yelling at the top of our lungs; you didn't punch the air in those days, but would have if we had known about the stupid gesture. We still didn't know exactly where we were as I didn't have any detailed chart of the islands and of course no cruising guide and no radio.

    By now we saw a couple of boats milling around and saw one headed for the island, so we decided to follow this guy to where ever he was going all the while mesmerized by the fantastic array of the changing colors of the water. At this point I was pretty sure it was Bimini. We passed South Bimini and headed North between the islands. The first sign of life was Browns, so we decided to stop there and go for a walk-about. Now I have to mention that certain aspects of this trip stand out as if they happened yesterday and other details escape me completely, having occurred fifty years ago. I have no recollection of ever checking in with Customs and Immigration. In fact I doubt it as I am pretty sure I had no form of identification with me (maybe a library card) and I really don't think any kind of enforcement existed at that point.

    A couple of details which I vividly remember is that after our walk-about we were the talk of Browns if not the entire island with an equal amount of back-slapping, head-shaking and eye-rolling. I do remember all the terrific boats docked at Browns, one of which was a huge Huckins (I think) which was towing a Whaler just like mine. This wasn't just any Whaler, but a totally customized version set up very similar to today's flats boats. As we were marveling this masterpiece, the owner came up to us for a chat which evolved into his inviting us to dinner at the Compleat Angler. I still have something like a mimeographed a copy of the boat which he was kind enough to mail to me some time later. And I do remember the name of his two boats; one was Silver Fox and the other was Grey Fox, though I am not sure which was which. Browns is also where I witnessed my first fist fight; apparently two captains were having something of a turf war over some sacred piece of water.
  • INTREPID377INTREPID377 Posts: 3,736 Captain
    Great read Blue Zone!!

    I don't think any of us ever forget the first time seeing The Pines appear on the horizon....though few of us got to do it from the deck of a 16' Whaler. :hail. Truth be told, even with GPS, autopilot (and yes, trips), I still get excited when the Island comes into view.
  • saltyseniorsaltysenior Posts: 868 Officer
    Did the owner of the 2 fox boats wear an earring ???
  • 2amigo2amigo Posts: 7,015 Admiral
    Bluezone, I believe you said previously there was a part two to this
  • saltyseniorsaltysenior Posts: 868 Officer
    Did the owner of the 2 fox boats wear an earring ???

    i see my question might be misconstrued........i asked in all seriousness .....
  • snookyjsnookyj Posts: 1,687 Officer
    I was born in 1975 and my first trip to Bimini was in 1975...lol I was about 10 months old when my folks brought me over, we had a family wedding to attend and we took my grandfathers boat. Back then my grandfather owned a timber company in north florida, so he had a lil money, he owned and older Merritt named "Tuna Teaser". My memories of Bimini are so vivid, we were over there almost every other weekend in the 80's. My aunt and uncle own property on south bimini, i watched them build the Sands as a teenager! We still head over as much as we can...just not nearly enough nowadays. I have some really cool older pics of the island...enjoy!

    This was my aunt and uncles boat...i think it was a Prowler, i wasn't born yet when they had that boat.

    Random shot at the Complete Angler

    My aunt

    This was on my grandaddys boat
  • Bimini DreamBimini Dream Posts: 407 Deckhand
    Those are some great vintage photos Snook. Thanks for posting
    A Part Of Paradise
    http://onetoughkitty.com
  • alacrityalacrity Posts: 2,666 Captain
    jeremy, great pictures and great stories.thanks rafael


  • Blue ZoneBlue Zone Posts: 414 Officer
    Snook,

    Thanks for the photos. I am quite sure that is indeed a Prowler. Great tuna shot; I understand the Cat Cay tournament is coming back this year.

    2amigo wrote: »
    Bluezone, I believe you said previously there was a part two to this

    Part 2

    When I was 10 or 11 my father took me to see The Old Man And The Sea the first weekend it opened in theaters. From that point on, I consumed everything I could find which Hemingway wrote, both books and magazine articles.

    A couple of times we made the run from Gun back to Browns for supplies which always included a stop up at Compleat Angler to stare at the Hemingway photos and dock-walk at Big Game to check for new arrivals and catches. So here I was in an entirely different world and at the same time worshiping my hero paying him my respect in such a raw, but intimate setting. There is no way I can recall details, but I am sure I was trembling with awe and excitement on these "trips into town".

    There wasn't a day we didn't see a turtle while swimming or diving. There wasn't a day we didn't see a dead turtle and dead billfish hanging on the docks. We had a couple of spinning rods and one something I guess you could call a boat rod which we had one fairly big plug to go with. One of those days, we went out to the ledge to fool around with our "big" rod to try this plug out. Motoring along, expectations at zero, we heard a whiz and a pop to see only the wake of a swirl where the plug was supposed to be and a rat's nest of line on the old plastic Penn. That pretty much ended our foray to the deep blue.

    I have no idea how long we stayed there, but probably more then a few days and less than a week as apparently we still had time to hit the Upper Keys. Our departure most likely coincided with a remark something like "uh, we'd better get back before we never leave".

    We went back via Miami, stocked up on food, phoned my parents without mention yet of our detour (again, no recollection of visiting the customs office) and made our way down Biscayne Bay to an area around what is the Ocean Reef Club today. I suppose it was a bit of a let-down as this part of the trip was uneventful and unmemorable after being where we had been. Our foray to Bimini was an absolutely unrepeatable event.

    Epilog: This adventure is without question my fondest childhood memory and at the same time a very sad memory as my pal on this trip is no longer with us.

    In dredging those days from my memory the contrast from then to the present looms large. Bimini was then a different place in a different time. As it is now a different place in a different time. Before my time, in the forties and fifties Bimini was the destination of the moneyed sportsman set. In the sixties these captains of industry and millionaires mixed in with a sizable number of recent wealthy Cuban emigrees. You were just as likely to hear Spanish on the docks as English. A good part of the seventies and eighties were a bit of a dark period under the cloud of the drug trade and the recent independence from the Crown. The beat continues over recent years with human trafficking thrown into the mix, though I sense the increased efforts on interdiction are paying off. Four or five years ago it seemed like a week didn't go by without one or two BOLO alerts in the islands; now not so much.

    This little adventure afflicted me with a life-long island addiction and I suppose that's why my life's itinerary has taken me full circle back to the Bahamas, but not Bimini for three decades. I'm not sure why I haven't been back, however a couple of things come into play. One easy answer is that it is not on my way to anywhere, another is that it lost some of its charm with the mess back in the 70's and 80's. Thomas Wolfe wrote a book titled You Can't Go Home Again; never read the book but I always liked the title and for me it fits for Bimini. It would be like driving by the house you grew up in and dredging up all the bittersweet memories, but also thinking what an abomination the present owners have turned your childhood home into.

    The idea that Bimini will be transformed into the new Cote d'Azur is a gross miscalculation. The above-mentioned moneyed set have moved on to more exotic locales in the Out Islands or the Virgins or Isla or Panama or Costa Rica or Cabo.

    As I have mentioned a few times Bimini's curse is it's proximity; really if you can get there on a pwc, how exotic is that? It's great to see the efforts made to bring the island back to a center of sportfishing; I'm sure there's a grander lurking around there somewhere, so let's hope he shows up for one of Compleat's gigs in the years to come.

    This post was from about a year ago, so the context should not be viewed as a negative derail...
  • testerman28testerman28 Posts: 1,329 Officer
    thanks for the positive posts guys.. I think we learn more about 'real life' knowing that we get to live it so to speak. we also get to know a little about our fellow fishermen friends and see that what they have to say sometimes is because their aunt was hanging in Bimini beside a cool plane or a man got hooked up with the girl he would spend his wife with .. or just some kid that decided to go fishing the rest of his life and smile. There are some good things also coming up soon here and in the Islands.. the Swordfishing Guys are having a meeting at the IGFA builiding by Bass Pro if you want to see 'old'.. just go there and see some of the guys of our time speak and you may learn a bunch about swords and heavy tackle and bait rigging..if you go or use the bathroom don't look in the mirror you may see old again.. and as for the Islands "spring and summer are on the way..!" :) if your lucky and plan it right you may find yourself there..
  • saltyseniorsaltysenior Posts: 868 Officer
    snookyj wrote: »
    I was born in 1975 and my first trip to Bimini was in 1975...lol I was about 10 months old when my folks brought me over, we had a family wedding to attend and we took my grandfathers boat. Back then my grandfather owned a timber company in north florida, so he had a lil money, he owned and older Merritt named "Tuna Teaser". My memories of Bimini are so vivid, we were over there almost every other weekend in the 80's. My aunt and uncle own property on south bimini, i watched them build the Sands as a teenager! We still head over as much as we can...just not nearly enough nowadays. I have some really cool older pics of the island...enjoy!

    This was my aunt and uncles boat...i think it was a Prowler, i wasn't born yet when they had that boat.

    Random shot at the Complete Angler

    My aunt

    This was on my grandaddys boat

    was your grandaddy named Dale S.
  • saltyseniorsaltysenior Posts: 868 Officer
    i beleive the gentleman in the blue shirt that is dancing on the left side of the photo is Julian Brown.....I tink
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,246 AG
    A pic in support of those who went and enjoyed themselves in less than a 30 foot something with trips..

    First trip running my own boat was in this 1993 20 Grady-White with a trusty Yamaha 150. It was the same trip with my pilot buddies from my photos above. A few of the guys were nervous about the single-engine (understandable from non-boaters who fly planes with 2-3-4 engines!) so we had more safety gear, phones, handheld VHFs, etc than the boat could barely float with! A fun trip that had us running over on a Sunday (1997) and coming back on Tuesday. Docked up at Blue Water.

    0095.jpg

    054.jpg

    Checked in and then went spearfishing down near the Sapona on the inside. I shot two nice hogs until about a 6-7 foot Bull Shark swam right at me from abot 40 feet away and only turned when he was about 10 feet away! :hairraiser

    On Monday, we fished/snorkeled our way up to Great Issaac and I shot another hog and one of the guys swam ashore and went inside the lighthouse! Tuesday, we ran home to Matheson Hammock Marina in Coral Gables. A very satisfying 'first trip'!

    My next trip was in our 1994, 25 Grady-White in 2003 and we stayed aboard at Big Game, on the north dock. Twin, 225 Ocean Pros that I called 'Smokey Pros'! I learned what 'tidal flow' meant when docking up there! Jenn **** up some nice meals in a simple skillet that we set up in the cockpit on that 4 day trip! That was her first (of many) Bimini trips and I tried to show her everythig that I then knew about the island.......

    0098.jpg

    Here she is sitting in the shade of the retractable aft Bimini aboard 'Harbournate' on the same trip.....

    053.jpg

    2006 and the first trip over in the 2001 30 Grady-White, HEY MON! She's at our regular slip at Sea Crest.... right by the fish cleaning tables and maybe 20 feet from the door to our room!

    FishBoats002.jpg

    JennHeyMon.jpg

    Finally made it down to Honeymoon Harbour in 2006.

    HnyMoon.jpg

    Some people are really rude when you are trying to anchor up down there! :nono

    HnyThong.jpg

    It's no secret that our friend Intrepid377 loves Big Game and when we saw this for sale in a shop in Lauderdale we knew that we had to get it for him. We actually gave it to him AT Big Game around 2007/08.

    RichPlaque.jpg

    From 2006. What's left of Sylvia Beacon up on the bank...... George Poveromo just aired a show that had them fishing here.

    FishPics017.jpg

    Treetopflyn hopped in the water on the way to Sylvia to check out this small twin engined airplane......

    KevPlane2.jpg

    Jenn nearly won the Ladies Division during a Poveromo Fishing Extravaganza Tournament in 2006 with this 14.5 pounder. At our regular slip along the seawall at Sea Crest like the photo a few shots above.

    JennDolph.jpg

    And about 10 minutes later at the cleaning table at Sea Crest. A sharp knife, a nice fish, a cold beer and IN Bimini...... yep, the good old days! And for you Abaco fans, yes, that's a Nipper's koozie!

    GaryClean.jpg
  • Bimini DreamBimini Dream Posts: 407 Deckhand
  • testerman28testerman28 Posts: 1,329 Officer
    great pics.. looking fwd to going back soon ..
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