Bimini, a scant 48 miles off the U.S. coast, has held held the spirit of rum-runners, smugglers, pirates, escaped slaves and marooned sailors close to its heart for centuries. This free-wheeling frontier charm is found in a natural surrounding that absolutely overflows with life. Bimini is known for some of the finest sportfishing in the Caribbean, tremendous shallow reefs and deep wall dives. And, although Bimini’s resident’s can here the contemporary words and beats being pumped out on Miami’s radio waves, this Atlantic retreat holds the feeling of the most remote Bahamian out-island.

In a single word, the great appeal Bimini holds for divers, is fish. Bimini is one of the fishiest of the islands, largely due to the combination of deep water and shallow banks that surround its shores. The shallow waters and the mangrove flats create a perfect juvenile nursery, while the deep waters invite the larger adults.

It’s not uncommon for divers to see large marine life relatively close to shore. Clouds of fish swirl above the reefs and a wide variety of invertebrates thrive here. Offshore, the annual migration of 400-pound Bluefin Tuna running north in the Gulf Stream, hammerheads skirting the edge of the pack, is part and parcel of Bimini’s aquatic frenzy.

Between dives, visitors can stroll the single dirt road of Alicetown on North Bimini, a place where cars and pedestrians operate with a refined sense of negotiation and compromise. Here there are legendary and local watering holes and restaurants. The Compleat Angler and the End of the World Sand Bar should not be missed.