Bimini Trip Info & Packing List

Hello Fellow Adventurers!

I hope this letter finds you dreaming about the magic that awaits us in Bimini. Please read, print and bring the following info with you. If after reading this info you still have questions, feel free to call or email me. I’m excited you’re joining us!

Phones: International rates apply to all calls coming in and out of the Bahamas, you might check your rate plan in advance if you wish to use your cellphone here. You can give your family my US number (954-889-7113) or my local Bahamas cellphone number (242-473-2646) to use in case of emergencies. Please be sure to bring my Bimini cellphone number with you in case of flight delays.

Bimini Customs Info: Bimini is a small collection of islands in the great Bahamas chain of islands. It’s the closest Bahamian island to the US, only 50 miles east of Miami. The Bahamian Immigrations & Customs officials are friendly and clearing Customs is simple and easy.

The Bahamian dollar is the local currency and it’s traded evenly with the US dollar. US dollars are freely accepted in the Bahamas. Credit cards and travelers checks are accepted in only a few places. The sole ATM here has gotten fairly reliable over the past few years.

The simplest solution is to bring US dollars. If you are arriving from outside the US, we suggest you get US dollars before you arrive in Bimini.  We suggest a minimum of $200 -$300 for incidentals, tips and money for a meal or two out on the town. Bring more if you want to go shopping for clothes and gifts.

Upon your arrival at the South Bimini airport, you’ll be given an immigrations card to fill out. Where it asks for your Local accommodations, please enter the information i will have provided you in advance. Under the ‘Purpose of your trip’ option, check only the ‘vacations’ box (checking the ‘business’ box invites a lengthy interview). If there are any questions, tell them you’re here on a trip with Joebaby and I’m right outside waiting for you!

To enter the Bahamas, US citizens are required to have a current US passport. Non US citizens should contact their local Bahamian consulate for entry requirements. You may need to get an ESTA if you are coming to Bimini through the US. An ESTA is a simple formality and can be completed in advance of your travel.

Unless otherwise arranged, I will be waiting for you once you clear customs and will give you a ‘Welcome to the Bahamas’ hug. Then I’ll take you to your accommodations so you can unpack, get on your swimsuit and we can go for a swim!

Trip Policies & Travel Insurance: Please click here to read our trip policies and recommendations about travel insurance.

Dolphin Whisperers Risk Waiver – Please click on this link, print out our Risk Waiver, and bring the completed form with you.

 Packing List: Bimini’s weather is similar to Miami, which is 50 miles west of us, straight across the Gulf Stream. It‘s typically a warm climate where it can get cool at night. We’ll be staying in accommodations that are a stone’s throw from the water, sharing rooms and meals together. This will be an informal week, and for your simplicity and enjoyment we recommend you pack light and keep your luggage to a minimum.

Please also realize that you need to arrive with all your preparatory shopping completed. Bimini is two small islands and is completely free of large grocery stores, drug stores, convenience stores, etc.

You are invited to bring your own mask, snorkel and fins. L.L. Beans sells mask/snorkel/fin sets online, typically more economically than a dive shop. (www.llbean.com). You can sometimes find a snorkel set at Sports Authority. Please ensure that the skirt of your mask is made of silicone (some of the cheaper masks are not).

When you try on a new mask, do a simple test to see if it fits – move the strap out of the way, look down at your feet, put the mask snug up against your face, suck in your nose to create a vacuum, then let go with your hands. If the mask stays on for at least 15 seconds, you have a watertight seal.

Wetsuit: wetsuits are entirely optional. When I first started coming to Bimini, I would come in the winter months from the snowy north and I never needed a wetsuit, even after hours in the water. Now, living here, I wear one from fall to spring. Because we often spend hours a day in the water, if you get cold easily, please consider bringing a wetsuit, either a shorty or a full 3mm suit. (From June to September the water temp is in the mid-80’s so you probably won’t need one)

Personal Gear –

1 swimsuit and a beach towel

2 pair shorts

1 pair long pants – cooler month

3 – 4 t – shirts

1 sweater, ideally fleece/non-cotton

A light jacket for the winter months

A lightweight windbreaker/raincoat

1 pair sandals/flip flops (extra footwear optional)

A small bag/backpack to carry stuff to the beach/on the boat

Current Passport

Simple toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo)

Sun protection – waterproof sunscreen & hat are necessary, a rash guard or long sleeve shirt required for sun protection when you are in the water during the summer months.

Dramamine or Bonine – seasick prevention medicine. (Caveat – Bring your ginger and natural remedies if you prefer, but just in case, bring Dramamine too! Its not worth being sick out to sea, and you’ll feel better knowing you’ve got it if you need it)

Favorite snack food

Water bottle

Extra cash for our dinner out and any t-shirts or gifts

Tipping – We collect tip money at the end of the trip which is distributed among the people that help make this trip possible. We are often asked to recommend an amount, and in response suggest you might wish to tip 10% of the trip cost.

Most importantly, bring your enthusiasm and your sense of adventure!

See you soon!

Joe

© Joe Noonan