Previously on Travel with the Strings, I had the privilege and enjoyment of interviewing Jillian Morris – Founder of Sharks4Kids. (Check out the link below)
A non-profit organisation creating the next generation of shark advocates through education, outreach and adventure.
After listening to her inspiring words and sharing with Jillian how I am the most scaredy cat scuba diver. Jillian began to tell me about scuba diving Bimini islands – in the Bahamas. Her home. About 50 miles off mainland USA. A great place to try out some of the best shark dives.
Around this time – I decided to try a little scuba in the waters surrounding the little spanish island of Ibiza. Over the short time I was here, the co-owner of Scuba Ibiza – Yaqui – shared with me his insight into my fear. Telling me, I needed to spend a holiday scuba diving, to give myself time to get past the first day jitters of getting to know the Scuba Centre, its staff, boat and equipment. Suddenly it all clicked into place and made sense. First day nerves-and I was allowing myself to experience them again and again. It was at this point I decided I wanted to find a suitable place to scuba dive. In shallower water. Without feeling continual pressure to go deep.
Shark diving is of course the first thing to pop into my mind!
When I interviewed Jillian she began to build an engaging picture of the marine life in the waters surrounding her home island. Sharing with me the diverse marine life which can be found – from Great Hammerheads to Reef Sharks, Bulls, Lemons, Rays and turtles. All of which can be found in under 95 feet of water- suitable for my kind of diving. Since that point I have been seriously thinking about getting out to Bimini Islands to try out all it has to offer and from what Jillian has told me and what I’ve read so far. It seems it has quite a bit.
The off season is September through to May (when plane ticket prices are highest from the UK)
How to get there:
Norwegian Airlines have recently opened up a route from London to Fort Lauderdale. A return flight costs roughly – £329 per person in November and December. (To add meals, Which you may want to do, as the flight is over 8 hours. Costs another £35 each way.) To fly over to Bimini – which takes approximately 35 mins costs around £62 each way. Check out the days to ensure your two flights connect and remember if you are diving, give yourself 24 hours before getting on a plane to return to mainland USA.
Which Scuba Centre should I use?
Jillian informed me that Neal Watson’s Bimini Scuba Centre is very good and I’ve been informed does a lot for local conservation. – As an instructor, marine videographer – shark educator and marine biologist. I’m quite happy to accept her opinion on this matter, as I don’t have the personal experience. Checking out his site, I found many different options from dive and hotel, Great Hammerhead shark dives to gentler snorkeling excursions.
Other Island Activities:
The Bimini Bull Run
Welcome to Bimini Bull Run and the Bull Sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) of Bimini Island, Bahamas your new hub for safe shark diving adventures with all kinds of sharks. Since the late 1930’s Bimini Big Game Club has been home to the great fishing legends like Ernest Hemmingway and Zane Grey and quite a few resident Bull Sharks. Bimini Bull Run
The Bimini Shark Lab
Bimini- seems the ultimate destination to visit to interact, experience and learn about sharks. Another great opportunity is the ability to visit Bimini Shark Lab. (With a suggested donation of $10 a visit) What an amazing opportunity.
The Bimini Nature Trail
The Bimini Nature Trail is open for both guided and self-guided tours. Self-guided tours give visitors a chance to take in the scenery at their own pace, whether you want to use the trail for a morning jog or an all day adventure. The Bimini Nature Trail has several signs highlighting the plants and wildlife found along the way, so that anyone entering the trail can exit it with a better understanding of Bimini’s natural wonders. Free if Self Guided. $12 Guided Tour Bimini Sands Resort & Marina