I have always been a firm believer that “Vitamin Sea” heals everything…and I found that on a small island only 43 miles off the coast of Florida. My love for the Bahamas and its people started right after I began chemotherapy, when I traveled with my love to Atlantis in Nassau. A trip several months later brought me to North Eleuthera and Harbour Island. While I enjoyed both of these places immensely, it was North Bimini that captured my heart and soul. There was just something about it and I knew: this was the place I wanted to heal me.
North Bimini is an enchanted island accessible in just 30 minutes by seaplane off of Ft. Lauderdale International Airport. I booked our stay at Resort World for the Labor Day holiday weekend. The people we met and the staff at the resort were so accommodating. And then we met a local, Eddie Spaghetti, that would really surmount and affirm my feelings to never want to return home. By happenstance, we ran into Eddie waiting for the tram into Alice Town and he took us to so many wonderful places.
We received a private tour of the Dolphin House, built by Mr. Ashley Saunders. He was a poised gentleman, eager to share the details of his labor of love for almost two hours. All of the items in the Dolphin House are recycled materials that he has collected on the beach. Junk – maybe to others – was the basis for Ashley’s dream and he did it without any machinery…just pure determination and manual labor. A graduate, author, and “concrete Picasso”, Ashley Saunders is a true treasure of the Bimini culture. He has written several books on the history of Bimini, and hosts a private museum of artifacts he has collected over the years.
Eddie then took us to Sherry’s Paradise Beach Bar, a local watering hole, that unless you knew someone – you would never find. Sherry has Stage IV cervical cancer and returned to the states for treatment; however, she is back now and open for business. She has a view – much like Mr. Saunders – that people would pay millions for. Nestled in a small shack on edge of the ocean, Sherry serves up Kalik and mixed drinks, along with some love and understanding. I felt a personal connection with Sherry, and I’m so glad I got to meet her.
The resort in Bimini is absolutely fantastic, and the staff there was eager to make our stay the most memorable. I loved it so much, that I put a bid in on a condo right before I left! I can’t wait to call this my second home and I really believe it gave me an extra added strength for my reconstruction (happening in just a day or so). Eddie is now starting a tour company, Ashley is at the Dolphin House daily, and Sherry is open for business. If you go to North Bimini, tell them I sent you. Even if you forget, you’re still going to be well taken care of!