This was my first visit to this pristine island located 50 miles from the Florida coast. Impressive it was to say the least! But whenever I travel, I want authenticity, and to get it, you have to go where the locals live.
After dining on freshly-caught snapper at the Thirsty Turtle Café, my friend Tee and I were talking to one of the locals who told us of the one thing we should see before leaving the island. It is the “Healing Hole” – a spring of freshwater with minerals that percolates inside a saltwater mangrove swamp. The Healing Hole is said to have magical healing properties.
So, the next day we boarded a small motor boat, skippered by our tour guide Ebbie David. He immediately made us feel comfortable by assuring us that he had done this tour hundreds of times, and was not going to leave us for any reason.
You couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. The turquoise sea appeared to be sprinkled with crystals; while the blue sky was dotted with giant-sized fluffy white balls of cotton.
Along the way Ebbie pointed out a statute of Martin Luther King, Jr. on a stand in the swamp weeds. He explained that King was a frequent visitor to the island, and had written his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize he won in 1964. The statute has King near a conch shell which represents the seafood the island is famous for.
The closer we got to the Healing Hole, the palm trees were replaced with swamp vegetation and the water became murky. Shortly after this, the passage narrowed to only a few feet wide and Ebbie docked the boat and helped us out. We proceeded to the Hole, swamp water tickling our chins and holding on to any branch we could find, mangrove or otherwise.
We finally arrived. The Healing Hole is narrow with heavy mangrove trees and other unfamiliar vegetation. Holding on to a thick rope tied to one of the branches, Tee and I was able to relax and enjoy this new experience. The three of us chitchatted about our lives, and then for some reason, fell silent for the rest of our hour long visit, floating on our backs over the Healing Hole totally in touch with nature at its finest!
When in Bimini, contact Ebbie David at Ebbie’s Bonefish Club (BT) 347-2053 and get ready for an experience to write home about.