Will I be comfortable?
Please do not expect a luxury yacht. GARVIN is a US coast guard inspected research vessel. RV Garvin is a very safe, fully eqipped , fully licensed working boat with a great dive platform. Since we keep our groups very small, there is plenty of space for everyone.
And the food that comes out of Garvin’s kitchen, definitely rivals the food in restaurants on land…
Yes, you need to bring your own. We used to carry it on board, but due to everyone being such different sizes there was always the risk that some gear would not fit some guests properly. The fit is really improtant – it can be the difference in really enjoying the dolphin and Bahama experience in the water. On the „online brochure/what to bring“ page you will find a recommendation for snorkelling gear.
When we are at the dock, smoking is allowed on the dock, not the boat. At sea there is designated smoking on deck and never below.
Are there any sharks around?
Yep. There are sharks indeed. Whatever ocean you enter, there will probably be a shark somewhere within the next 100 metres. But you’ll be very lucky to see one at all and if you just move one hand you’ll shy them away immediately. It’s mostly reef sharks around Bimini, but others too and Bimini has a shark lab that you will be visiting with us and that will teach you a lot about sharks and and their great importance for our environment and it will help you clear up some of the myths about them .We just are no bait for Bimini sharks, they eat fish and sometimes rays. But even worldwide you may be sure that the danger of being killed by the sting of a bee due to an allergic shock is by far greater than being harmed by a shark.
Having said all that: Be sure that the people accompagnying you in the water and the people watching from deck are always aware of what is going on under and around you and sharks will be chased away easily, if ever one is curious and courageous enough to come a little closer than usual!
For people who on the contrary really want to meet sharks and swim with them, there will be a special opportunity in the program.
Do I have to be a worldclass swimmer?
Nope. While being able to swim makes you feel better and safer in the water and allows you more freedom, people can actually lie on the water with their fins and their masks without even being able to swim at all.
Do I have to know how to snorkel?
No. Not necessarily. We can teach you. It helps though if you already feel comfortable with your snorkeling gear and have used it before or have practiced in your local swimming pool. It means less time practising in Bimini and more quality in deep water time.
I’m still worried I might feel claustrophobic on board: Are there any landbased expeditions?
Live-aboard vs. live-ashore
Generally speaking it’s no problem to book you into a very nice hotel in South Bimini. But apart from that being quite expensive, you will have to get up very early to be there by the time we leave the dock and when others relax on the boat or in the marina and mellow out, you have to go back to the hotel at night.
We have found that when guests( who at first thought they wanted to live ashore) chose to live and cruise on the boat instead found that they have experienced much more of the dolphin and island feeling.
We don’t do it landbased like others, because living on the boat gives us an advantage over living ashore. While others are waiting on shore to go out later, you might be sitting on deck with your morning tea or coffee while a pod of bottlenose dolphins swim by feeding with their young. Quite often we have swum with dolphins before the land based groups have come out for their alloted time. On our boat Indigo Spirit we have no alloted time.
We have the most stable boat on the dolphin grounds. Because of our size and stability we are able to stay out safely when other boats might not come out at all.
Unlike the live ashore boats, we have air conditioning and all the comforts with us while we are out all day. This includes full meals and lots of shade and comfort on deck to look for dolphins.
It can also be pretty awesome being anchored off a beautiful beach in the evening, under a star filled sky, listening to the sound of dolphins blowing around the boat.
If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to ask us!