Bimini Trip Info: Packing List, Customs Info, Etc
This is IMPORTANT Info!
Please PRINT & BRING with you!
Hello Fellow Adventurers!
I hope this letter finds each of you dreaming about the magic that awaits us in Bimini… Following is some helpful information, including the Risk Form which is to be completed and brought with you. Below you will find:
- Customs Info
- Trip Policies
- Risk Waiver Form
- Packing List
There are limited number of payphones in Bimini, and they either entail using a credit card (expensive) or buying a local phone card (usually available) for 50 cents to $1 a minute. You can give your family my US number (954-242-5830) to use in case of emergencies. I check that (almost) daily. Rather than calling them during the trip, I invite you to tell your family and friends you’ll fill them in on the details of your trip upon your return!
Preparing for the trip
The trip starts when you commit to coming. For many, this happens when you pay your deposit. At the point that you commit, you’ve consciously (or unconsciously – but its no longer unconscious now!) joined the pool of energy we’re all co-creating; us, the dolphins, our guides and angels and other magnificent beings of light. I encourage you to invite the dolphins and devas into your thoughts, dreams and meditations! Many people report having powerful lucid dreams of dolphins in advance of their arrival.
If after reading the information on this page, you still have questions, feel free to call or email me. I’m excited you’re joining us!
See you in the Bahamas!
BIMINI CUSTOMS INFO
Bimini is a small collection of islands in the great Bahamas chain of islands. It’s the closest Bahamian island to the US, only 50 miles east of Miami. The Bahamian Immigrations & Customs officials are friendly and clearing Customs is simple and easy.
The Bahamian dollar is the local currency and it’s traded evenly with the US dollar. US dollars are freely accepted in the Bahamas and there’s no need to exchange your money. Credit cards are accepted in only a few placestravelers checks are not welcome in many palces. There are no ATMs that are guaranteed to work and little opportunity for using personal checks. While you can get cash advances with a credit card at the island’s sole bank, banking hours are extremely limited, can involve standing in line for hours and even missing a boat trip out to the dolphins.
The simplest solution is bring cash. I suggest a minimum of $200, (we collect tip money at the end of the trip and suggest a tip in the amount of $100 – $160), bring more if you want to go shopping at the straw market for clothes and gifts. And while most of our meals are included, we often go out to a restaurant for a lunch or dinner during our trip.
On your flight to Bimini you’ll be given an Immigrations card to fill out. You’ll arrive at the South Bimini airport. Please put ‘Rented Apartment’ as your destination, and check only the ‘vacations’ box as your purpose for visiting (checking the ‘business’ box invites a lengthy interview). If Immigrations asks why you are here, just let them know you’re on vacation to swim with dolphins.
To enter the Bahamas, US citizens are required to have a current passport. Non US citizens should contact their local Bahamian consulate for entry requirements.
Upon clearing customs, take your bags to the awaiting taxi and tell him your final destination. Our trips are centered at several different base locations. You will receive an email from us giving you specific information to give the taxi driver. Please follow the instructions on the email you received the week before the trip.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT of RISK &
ASSUMPTION of PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
Please print this form, read it carefully, sign in the appropriate places, and bring with you.
Your Name (print): _____________________________________________________
Trip Name & Date: ______________________________________________________
Family contact person + phone number __________________________________________________________
I, the undersigned, understand that the activities I will be engaged in during this program conducted by Planetary Partners LLC, Joe Noonan and all their partners, agents, subcontractors and all others operating on their behalf, may require sometime strenuous physical exertion and have the potential to expose me to above normal risks. To the extent I have any emotional, physical, mental disability that might impair my ability to participate in this program, I have communicated this information in writing to the coordinators of the program. In the event I have made no reference to any such disability, I represent that I have none.
I recognize that everything I choose to do, I do so of my own free will. To the extent I participate, I do so voluntarily and of my own volition. I agree to act in a manner that will contribute to the safety and well being of both myself and of the other participants. I agree to hold Planetary Partners LLC, Joe Noonan and all their partners, agents, subcontractors and all other people operating on their behalf, harmless from the results of any incident which causes injury to me during this program.
I have read the trip policies statement and have familiarized myself with Planetary Partners LLC’s trip policies. I recognize that Planetary Partners LLC strongly recommends I get my own travel insurance and trip cancellation insurance , and I recognize that it is my decision to do so or not at my own risk.
I acknowledge that I will be offered opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities, and it is always my free choice whether to participate or not. I acknowledge that I am a sovereign individual and I take 100% full responsibility for all my decisions and actions. My signature below is my acknowledgment that I fully accept all the terms and agreements outlined on this document.
Participant’s Signature: _______________________________________ Date of signature_______________
Signature of Parent or Guardian if participant is under 18 _______________________________________
Write the name of Parent or Guardian if participant is under 18 _______________________________________
Included in program:
- All lodging (depending on trip length) and most meals
- Up to three boat trips out to the dolphins, weather allowing
- Snorkel trips to the Stones of Atlantis & Three Sisters
- All group transportation to and from cottages for scheduled trips
Not included in program:
- All air transportation to and from Bimini
- One lunch and/or one dinner out on the town
- Snorkel equipment (mask, snorkel & fins)
- Optional tips (The suggested amount is $100 -$160)
Deposits & Payments:
For open enrollment trips, a $500 deposit per person secures your reservation. Space is limited, and reservations are accepted on a first come, first served basis. Credit cards are accepted thru PayPal, make payment to Joseph Noonan. Full payment is due 60 days before departure. All rates and conditions are subject to change. Planetary Partners LLC reserves the right to cancel a trip at any time due to any number of circumstances including tropical storms and hurricanes. In the event of a trip cancellation, (which has never happened), there may not be a refund (see trip insurance suggestion).
Cancellation & Refunds:
Trip deposits are nonrefundable and any remaining balance is due 60 days before trip departure date. Within 90 days a cancellation fee of 25% of the total cost of the trip shall apply. Within 60 days a 50% cancellation fee shall apply. No refunds within 30 days of departure, though your space on the trip is transferable to another person of your choice. All cancellations must be in writing.
Alcohol & Drug Use: These trips are spiritual retreats, and we are into creating a natural high. Adventure is a part of our trips, we will be in unfamiliar environments and everybody needs to be fully present and alert. For this reason we ask that you refrain from using any non-prescription drugs or alcohol during our trip. We go out for a night of dancing one evening and that is the night for those who like to drink to imbibe. There is enough magic in our group energy to make you as happy and high as you’re willing to go!
NOTE: Travel insurance/trip cancellation insurance is always recommended. Because we cannot offer refunds for any reason we recommend that you purchase travel insurance and/or trip cancellation insurance. Travel insurance and trip cancellation insurance is optional and is your responsibility. In the event of a trip being canceled or shortened due to a tropical storm or hurricane, (which is rare), you will be happy you purchased the insurance. Cancellation insurance typically covers trip cancellations for hurricanes if the insurance is purchased prior to a weather system being officially declared a tropical storm. Check with your travel agent for more information.
Planetary Partners LLC, Joe Noonan and cooperating agencies act only in the capacity of agent for the passengers in all matters relating to transportation, hotels, and other reservations and do not assume any liability whatsoever for injury, damage, loss, accident or delay to person or property due to any act or default of any hotel, carrier, restaurant, company or person, including Planetary Partners LLC, its employees and agents rendering any of the services included on the trip for any circumstances beyond their direct control. In addition, Planetary Partners LLC reserves the right to refuse participation to any passenger who is acting, from Planetary PartnerS LLC’s point of view, in conflict with the trip’s goals or mission, or for acting in an unsafe manner. Any passenger who is refused participation for their actions forfeits any and all payments made. On receipt of deposit by Planetary Partners LLC, the passenger agrees to the above terms.
BIMINI PACKING LIST
Bimini’s weather is similar to Miami, which is 50 miles to the west across the Gulf Stream. It‘s typically a warm climate where it can get cool at night. We’ll be staying in a hotel or cottages that are a stone’s throw from the water, sharing rooms and meals together.
Bimini is a small island with very limited services! It is important that you bring everything here on the list. If you leave something out, you may be without it for the entire trip, so please read this list and follow it carefully.
This will be an informal week, and for your own simplicity and enjoyment I recommend you pack light and keep your luggage to a minimum!
Mask, snorkel and fins:
You will need to bring your own mask, snorkel and fins to Bimini with you; they are not available for purchase in Bimini. L.L. Beans sells mask/snorkel/fin sets online, typically much more economically than a dive shop. (www.llbean.com). If you are spending a day or two in Ft. Lauderdale before flying over to Bimini, you can purchase a snorkel set at the Sports Authority stores found locally.
When you try on a new mask, do a simple test to see if it fits – move the strap out of the way, look down at your feet, put the mask snug up against your face, suck in your nose to create a vacuum, then let go with your hands. If the mask stays on for at least 15 seconds, you have a watertight seal.
1 swimsuit and a beach towel
2 pair shorts
1 pair long pants
3 – 4 t – shirts
1 sweater, ideally fleece/non-cotton
A lightweight raincoat/poncho
1 pair sandals/flip flops (extra footwear optional)
A small bag/backpack to carry stuff to the beach/on the boat
Simple toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo)
Sun protection – waterproof sunscreen & hat are necessary, sunglasses & a long sleeve shirt recommended
Favorite snack food
Extra cash for shopping, dinner out on the town, etc
Tips for our local guides (we collect tip money at the end of the trip and a suggested amount is $100 – $160 for a 5 day trip)
Your favorite Dance CD – (We love to dance while making dinner!)
Wetsuit– wetsuits are entirely optional and recommended for trips from October to April. When I first started coming to Bimini, I would come in the winder months from the snowy north and I never needed a wetsuit, even after swimming in the water for hours. Now, living here, I wear one from fall to spring. If you tend to get cold fast and want to spend hours a day in the water, and our trips other than mid-summer to early fall, you might consider bringing a wetsuit. There are many places to get a wetsuit online. L.L Beans sells them economically, you can get a shorty or a full suit.
Weight Belt – For the serious free-diver, a weight belt allows you to get below the surface of the water easier (because our bodies are very buoyant in the sea!). If you wish to free-dive with the dolphins, you may want to consider bringing a weight belt.
Most importantly, bring your Enthusiasm, your Beautiful Intention and your sense of Adventure!
See you in Bimini!
© 2011 Joe Noonan