For such a small archipelago, Bimini is packed with plenty of surprises. Down a narrow lane you might stumble across devastatingly delicious cracked conch being cooked in a tiny shed, or bump into a local historian who shows you faded photographs taken here of Ernest Hemingway.
Recently, I cycled to the southern end of North Bimini and parked my bike beside a cemetery. The sound of surf and a glimpse of blue water lured me up a small bluff. There, below in the frothing sea, sprawled the dark, rusty object pictured above.
Obviously, this had at one time been a seafaring vessel of some kind. Now, it listed against the shore as turquoise waves swirled in and out in a persistent, mesmerizing motion. What’s the story, I wondered in silence. The well-known wreck of the S.S. Sapona lies in a different place entirely. What could this be?
It wasn’t until days later, after having left The Bahamas, that a little investigation uncovered the vessel’s name: the Gallant Lady. She apparently had sailed from Belize, and in a tumultuous storm got pushed against the rocky edge of the island, where the ship foundered, and has remained ever since.
There’s no sign or flashy placard directing you to this site. It’s simply one more striking Bimini surprise.
Laura Albritton somehow manages to be a frequent contributor to Uncommon Caribbean while also serving as the driving force behind her own great blog, Island Runaways. Of course, we couldn’t be more grateful.
*Photo credit: Zickie Allgrove.