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Dive Review of Bimini Undersea/Big Game Resort in

Bimini Undersea/Big Game Resort, Mar, 2007,

by Greg Yarnik, IL, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 8 reports with 7 Helpful votes). Report 3272.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments 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.

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

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 75-77°F / 24-25°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-80 Ft/ 15-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 3-5 minute safety stops; back on boat with no less than 500 psi
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments 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.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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