Sunday, 25 March 2012

Hemingway Was Here

That's what you see everywhere in Bimini, just as in Key West. Ernest Hemingway seems to have divided his time between hanging out in bars, doing he-man stuff like fishing for giant marlin and, fortunately, writing. The locals claim that this is where he wrote his great novella "The Old Man and the Sea", that classic work about man pitted against nature and his own limitations. The little local museum has pictures of Ernest with various mates posing proudly alongside the most massive marlin, sailfish and tuna, the biggest of them over 1000 lbs! Not surprisingly, they don't seem to get many that size any more.

My favourite place on North Bimini would have to be the Dolphin House, a kind of inn/ museum/ gallery built by local artist and historian Ashley Saunders. It's constructed from found materials, 'gifts from the ocean' such as coral rocks, conch shells, driftwood and sea glass. You could spend hours wandering around enjoying the quirky collections and mosaics in every corner. The flat roof is an observatory with the best view of the island in every direction. Ashley also has a lot of artefacts from the old days (his family were wreckers for many generations) and a copy of every Nobel Prize-winning book. He is the author of an excellent history of the Bahamas.

Radio Beach runs the full length of the west side of the Island, with the classic azure water deepening to indigo towards the horizon. It's great for swimming and snorkelling, though just a little disconcerting to have the odd barracuda for company. I guess they think we're large predators and there are likely to be some leftovers... Speaking of predation, the seafood here is sensational, especially the fresh fish.

Once again, we've had the good fortune to meet some interesting and intrepid people who are happy to share their experiences and knowedge. Volker and Frederik from Germany, sailed "Vela" their 34 ft yacht, all through the Mediterranean, across the Atlantic and to almost everywhere else. Mary and Lance, from New Zealand, previously South Africa and Zimbabwe, were just finishing up their travels through the Bahamas aboard their trawler "Amanzi". At the moment we tend to be good listeners, but maybe a time will come when we have a ready store of adventure stories and cruising wisdom to share with others.

Heading south today for Honeymoon Harbour in Gun Cay, then across the Banks to the Exumas.

No comments:

Post a Comment