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Bimini 5-Day Sample Itinerary

OK, if you've read this far, you share my excitement for adventure! Following is the outline of a typical five day trip to Bimini...

Day 1: Arrive Bimini around noontime, (typically through Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) I meet you at the airport and we head for our lodging. You’ll be all eyes and ears as you drink in the local flavor of this small Bahamian island (Bimini is known for the friendliness of its people).

Once we arrive and you unpack, we'll grab a bite for lunch and I’ll give you an overview of the trip, the island, history of the dolphins and how things work. Then we grab our snorkel gear and head for the beach.

At the beach, we practice our snorkel skills. For first timers, learning how to snorkel is easy and usually takes ten to fifteen minutes to learn, even for non-swimmers. For those already skilled at snorkeling, I teach you how to freedive, something that the dolphins LOVE! (when you freedive, they spin all around you!)

Non-Swimmers: We frequently have non-swimmers on our trips, though most of them are happily (and easily) swimming by the end of the week. We provide you with all the flotation you need to feel 100% safe and comfortable in the water, and show you how to snorkel with a life jacket on. Once you realize that you cannot sink, you naturally relax and have fun.

After a refreshing swim on the beach, (the beaches on Bimini are beautiful and practically empty of people), we go back to our cottage and get ready for dinner. Over dinner, we talk about tomorrow’s upcoming dolphin swim and teach you our dolphin protocol (no grabbing - its only captive dolphins that are trained to pull people around by their dorsal fins). After sharing our highlights of the day, its off to sleep or maybe a late night walk on the beach.

Day 2: Depending on the weather, we typically go out to the dolphin grounds in the afternoon. Mornings are spent enjoying the beach, taking a walk around the island, going to the straw market or seeing the sights. For corporate groups, we frequently have a morning seminar or workshop. After lunch, we get on our boat and head out to the dolphin grounds. Here we cruise the Grand Bahamas Bank, a vast area of turquoise water that is typically 20 to 30 feet deep with sandy bottom and crystal clear. When we find the dolphins, which is about 80% of the time, we follow them and see what they are ready for. The dolphins call the shots, if they want to swim with us, which they almost always do, we happily oblige!

Our encounters with the dolphins are magical, they love to swim in and around us, looking in our eyes. We stay together as a group, and those that can freedive take a breath and swim toward the bottom. The dolphins love that, and whether you go down ten feet or twenty, they love to swim spirals around you...

The Dolphins! Our encounters typically last from fifteen minutes to over an hour. Depending on how big their pod is and the mood they’re in, we might stay with them all afternoon. They frequent swim right beside us, looking deep into our eyes, a look that you will remember of the rest of your life…

We return home before sunset, clean up and make dinner. After bringing groups to Bimini for many years and bringing a chef to cook for us, I found that it is more fun when everyone helps in the making and cleaning up of our meals.

I used to be a wilderness guide for several Outward Bound schools, and found that the camaraderie that results as we make meals together adds a wonderful component to the trip. I lead leadership retreats for corporate executives where we frequently prepare our own meals.

People who are initially skeptical always report that making meals together was more fun than they imagined. (I've had lots of people who, with the help of many hands in the kitchen, regained their love of cooking). And there is the options of having a cook if you desire. Over dinner we share highlights of the day, then out for a walk or off to bed. After a full day in Bimini, most people hit the pillow pretty quickly.

Day 3: Each full day we are on Bimini it is pretty much a repeat of the second day; unscheduled time in the morning to hang out, go to the beach, do yoga, take a walk, etc, and in the afternoon we go back out on the water to the dolphin grounds, making a snorkel stop on the way at a beautiful shallow reef to see the many amazing fish and coral. There is a fun local band that plays one night midweek and on the weekend, and we frequently make it out for an evening of dancing one of these nights.

Day 4: Beach, walk, chill time in the morning or a scheduled activity or seminar, then out on the boat in the afternoon. On a five day trip, we schedule three boat trips out to the dolphins. As is true for any ocean adventure, we adjust our schedule according to the wind and weather. Typically the last night of the trip we go out to eat for dinner. In addition to our group time, there's also time to sleep in, hang out, read a book or go for a long walk on the beach in front of our cottages. This is what makes these trips great - the energy and enthusiasm we create together.

Day 5: (or last day of the trip). Most commercial flights leave Bimini around noontime, so we typically eat a light breakfast, pack up and take a last swim in the morning on the beach. Then we take a quick shower and head for the airport. There is a $15 departure tax, paid in cash, that you pay directly to your pilot.

Lodging Options for custom trips: Depending on your budget/objective, there are many options of lodging, from a camp-style two bedroom cottage with several fold-out couches to upscale condos and apartments. I’m totally fine with you eating out most or all of your meals and will price the trip accordingly.

There are a number of activities available in addition to swimming with the dolphins. We typically also stop to snorkel several beautiful reefs, and we visit the famous 'Stones of Atlantis', site of several Jacques Cousteau and National Geographic TV specials.

Other optional trips include going to the famous ‘Healing Hole’, an upwelling of fresh water out in the mangroves. There’s a trip to feed the stingrays, a shark feed (totally safe and very cool), a visit to the shark lab, visiting the South Bimini Nature Trail, renting golf carts and exploring the island (a great rainy day activity), and much more. These activites can often be arranged short notice and are an additional expense. Bimini is also famous for bonefishing and big game fishing. (Martin Luther King wrote his Nobel Prize acceptance speech while bonefishing here, and Earnest Hemingway wrote about Bimini in his book "Islands in the Stream")

I’ve taught a number of kids and adults how to spearfish here; the waters are so clear and the fish plentiful. Its fun to watch how much kids love cooking up their own catch.
 

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Land of Atlantis: Bimini also has a mystical side, and has been regarded by researches the world over as the site of the lost cities of Atlantis, and for good reason. Edgar Cayce, known as ‘The Sleeping Prophet of Virginia Beach’, spoke at great length about Bimini. People from around the world come here to bath in its healing waters and swim with the dolphins. Most all IMAX movies about dolphins include a LOT of footage of the dolphin here, because the waters are so beautiful and the dolphins so playful.

Bimini is laid back, it has limited facilities and is for the kind of traveler who enjoys slowing down and taking it easy. And as we slow down, all kinds of exciting things show up; a school of eagle rays next to the boat, an afternoon of catching lobster for dinner, a magical encounter with the dolphins that seems to go on forever…

I’ve been a wilderness guide for several decades and a corporate consultant for just as long. I used to be a psychotherapist in private practice. I’ve brought executive teams from Fortune 500 companies to Bimini as well as spiritual groups and families. Of all the things I do, (I’m also a speaker and workshop facilitator), leading dolphin trips is one of my favorite. If the description of these trips evokes a sense of excitement for you, give me a call. I look forward to sharing the magic of Bimini and the dolphins with you!

Prices: These trips are customized to meet your budget and objectives. A five day trip for a group of four to twelve costs approximately $1595 - $3295 per person and includes accommodations, most meals, on-island transportation and boat trips. Airfare is not included unless requested.

There is also a camp cottage we love for a more economical trip. A totally cozy place to stay, a five day trip for four to eight at this location averages $1295 - $1495 per person.

And a more luxurious option, including staying at beachfront condos with the highest level of service, your own golf cart and restaurants onsite, is available as well. Any of these options are available, depending on availability, with a simple phone call.

Whatever your objectives, it is my joy to assist you in having the experience of a lifetime!

5 day Sample Trip Itinerary

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Joe Noonan
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