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Dive Review of Bimini Undersea/Big Game Resort in

March, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Greg Yarnik, IL, US
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 3272
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Bonaire, Grand/Little Cayman, Turks & Caicos, Puerto Rico, Aruba,
Anguilla, Belize 
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
choppy, currents  
Water Temp
75   to 77    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
3-5 minute safety stops; back on boat with no less than 500 psi   
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Boat did not have dedicated rinse tank for cameras, only a freshwater
bucket for mask rinsing etc, which some folks didn't seem to mind using for
a camera rinse, but not this photographer! Plenty of dry surface for camera
storage and set-up, though.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
3 stars    
We traveled to the Big Game Resort and on-site dive operation, Bimini
Undersea, in March, 2007. The resort has been a mainstay on Bimini (only 40
nautical miles from Miami) since 1947, and largely caters to deep sea
fishermen and divers, in that order. Unfortunately, all the Hemingway
memorabilia and museum artifacts that were once on-island were destroyed in
the January 2006 fire of the Compleat Angler (you can view the crumbling
and burned remains of this once-famous joint just down the street from Big
Game). Our dive package included a full, stick-to-your-ribs breakfast and a
2-tank dive every morning, with the boat leaving around 9:30 am. Dive staff
(usually just Divemaster/Boat Captain Melanie and dive shop owner Bill
Keefe)were attentive and very hard-working. Once you set your gear up the
first day, you never had to touch it again as it was rinsed, stored, and
set up again for you the next day as you arrived at the boat. Entries were
done from the seated position on the dive platform, because near constant
heavy chop and currents (more on conditions later) pretty much prohibited a
safe giant stride. Once you were seated with mask/fins, staff brought your
BC/tank to you for donning, and also met divers at the platform post-dive,
when they carefully removed and lifted each diver's BC/tank for safe exit
from the water up the ladder into the boat. BCs and regulators were
immediately changed out onto fresh tanks for the second dive. Staff gave
good briefings and knew each dive site intimately, including all resident
critters. Most sites were 20-30 minutes from the resort dock  and were
usually located along the west coast of North Bimini. Some were located
just off South Bimini, but the aforementioned conditions prohibited going
too far south to prime shark habitat. Nearly every day was cool (air temps
stayed below 80 deg F for the entire trip and water temps hovered around 75
deg F), with considerable chop and current. Descents and ascents were safe
only when utilizing the mooring line or weighted descent line. One reason
for this may be that several dive sites are within a few hundred meters of
the Gulf Stream current, which flies between Bimini and Florida at around 4
knots. We saw the usual reef species on every dive, sometimes literally
teeming in the roaring current, which often  blew sand and silt all over
the coral heads and formations. I had to extract sand grains every day from
the lens seal of my camera. That said, we did see several large critters,
huge green and spotted morays, nurse sharks, one black tip (too far away to
photograph in the sandy current, though), and a surprise visit one day from
a normally pelagic 6' long cobia, which swam right into our threesome and
stuck around for good long while. The high point, though, was our last dive
day on the way back to the resort, when we were visited by several schools
of Atlantic Spotted Dolphins, which playfully surfed under the boat hull
and swam in the wake. They hung around a good 30 minutes and provided some
excellent photo-ops. All in all, this under-utilized dive spot offers good
Bahamian diving for an affordable price. Two restaurants on-site offer
delectable island-type fare, with fresh fish, shellfish, and crustaceans
from local waters as highlights. Both Continental and Chalk's (although not
the seaplanes--they've been grounded by the FAA) fly to Bimini twice daily
from Ft. Lauderdale. If you're looking for a quick trip from the mainland
and decent diving with a competent, hard-working operation like Bimini
Undersea, this dive shop and resort are recommended, but with one caveat --
wait till later in the season as March is the windiest and most
inhospitable month of the year around Bimini.      

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