Just 50 miles off the coast of Florida lies the Bahamian out-island Bimini – which actually is divided into two large islands, South and North Bimini, with a sprinkling of small cays perfect for divers. It’s an island full of fun folklore and mischief– lost cities, healing fountains, sunken ships and smuggled rum.
Our favorite Bimini tales:
Bimini Road: Remnants of Atlantis?
The popular Atlantis resort is miles away on New Providence Island, but some believe that Bimini Road, an underwater rock formation just 50 miles off the U.S. coast near North Bimini is a remnant of the legendary Lost City of Atlantis. Scientists are divided over whether the prehistoric limestone wall is a manmade aqua-highway or a natural formation, but one thing is certain: snorkelers and divers love exploring this mysterious spot in the Bahamas.
The reported healing powers of Bimini’s waters get their foundation from another legendary tale – Ponce de León’s quest for The Fountain of Youth. A plaque commemorates the location in South Bimini where the Spanish explorer is said to have landed in the 16th century. However it’s deep in the mangrove swamps of Bonefish Creek in northeast Bimini where a unique sulfur spring percolates. Accessible by kayak, the Healing Hole is believed to cure anything from arthritis to gout.
Birthplace of Rumrunners
The term rumrunner was established during the prohibition, when ships would smuggle rum from nearby Bimini to Florida speakeasies. One of the most famous rum running ships – the Sapona, was grounded during a hurricane and remains a popular shallow-water wreck site for snorkelers and divers.
A Haunted Lighthouse
Just off the northeast coast of Bimini on a small island known as Great Isaac Cay is a rusted, abandoned lighthouse that is said to emit strange noises during the full moon. Legend has it that a shipwreck in the 19th century left a lone survivor – an infant. The child’s distraught mother, known as The Grey Lady is said to haunt the lighthouse, wailing in sorrow for her lost child during the full moon. The disappearance of two lighthouse keepers in 1969 adds to the island’s mystery.
Ernest Hemingway is best associated with Key West, but his travels to Bimini in the 1930s prompted other fishermen to pilot their boats across the Gulf Stream in pursuit of marlin, tuna and swordfish. Hemingway penned To Have and Have Not during his stay at the Compleat Angler Hotel in Bimini, but the island’s incredible fishing allegedly inspired him to also write The Old Man and the Sea and Islands in The Stream.