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The Bimini SuperFast Starts Day Cruises to Bimini From Port Everglades

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The beach in Bimini is beautiful. Even for a native South Floridian, it's impressively blue. Like if a Smurf had a baby with a sapphire. And clear too.

There were a few jellyfish drifting around the beach. "Fuck, dude. I got stung like eight times already. I'm done," one sailor complained as they bolted for shore. New Times heard no other jellyfish complaints throughout the day. Actually, we heard no other complaints at all.

One group of Norwegian college students on break from their university in Mexico could not think of one bad thing to say. When pressed if they had any complaints, they shook their heads no.

Bimini SuperFast guests and Fort Lauderdale natives Kit Steliaa and Arden Avedisian also had good things to say. "I think it's great. It's been fabulous," Avedisian gushed.

From the food to the cabins, Avedisian and Steliaa loved it all. They even got prime chairs on the deck facing the sun, which for them (self-described sun worshipers) was a must.

New Times did overhear a patron reading what sounded like negative Yelp reviews of the ship's restaurants, but if we had to write a review of said patron's personality, it would be negative as well, so that probably cancels out.

Overall, there weren't many unhappy campers. And it makes sense. A day cruise might be the perfect amount of time to spend on a boat. It's enough time to feel adventurous but short enough to not feel like a really nice floating prison.

Bimini is an interesting place. It was New Times' first time there. The island is tiny. Like, Jameis Winston could probably throw a football from one side to the next (and then probably clean the place out of crab legs). There is a North Bimini and a South Bimini. We were on North Bimini. It's around seven miles in length and 700 feet wide.

The island is a postcard. And there's no shortage of concern as to whether it will stay that way. While the emergence of the SuperFast has brought tourists to Bimini at rates previously unimaginable, it has also drawn deep concern from some environmentalists and divided the some-2,000 locals as well.

Outside groups like Save Our Bays action group and Fabien Cousteau (grandson of the famed Jacques Cousteau) see Resorts World Bimini's rapid development of the island in a negative light.

There is much concern over the dredging of channels for incoming cruise ships and the damage it will cause Bimini's globally beloved reefs and endangered marine life. Resorts World Bimini does have the support of the local government (at least the ones that matter), and many locals see the island's new casino and resort as an opportunity for hundreds of potential jobs.

Others see it as a slow-moving and irreversible island tumor, one that will eventually kill everything about Bimini that makes it unique.

There is much history attached to Bimini. Ernest Hemingway was a frequent visitor. He wrote a novel, Islands in the Stream, that was based in Bimini. He got drunk and fished the beaches when Bimini was little more than a pit stop for rum runners.

What would he think of it now? Of the Americanized sports bars and five-star resorts? Of the many pastel upper-class vacation homes? Of the hundreds of tourists scooting across the island in golf carts? Of the SuperFast?

He'd hate it. Unquestionably. He'd want to punch it. Granted, he'd probably feel the same way about Key West, another of his old stomping grounds.

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Ryan Pfeffer is Miami New Times’ music editor. After earning a BS in editing, writing, and media from Florida State University, Ryan joined the New Times staff in November 2013 as a web editor, where he coined the phrase "pee-tweet" (to retweet someone while urinating). Born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, he’s now neck-deep in bass and booty in the 305.
Contact: Ryan Pfeffer

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