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Family Island News
Resorts World Bimini opens Bimini port and expands service to Fort Lauderdale
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Saturday, 06 September 2014 13:31

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- Resorts World Bimini announced Friday the first phase of the Port at Resorts World Bimini is complete and that passengers will begin disembarking directly onto the island beginning Sept. 18, 2014. Now guests will spend up to six hours on the island of Bimini, fully enjoying all that the island has to offer. Additionally, the company announced that Bimini SuperFast will complement its current Friday, Saturday and Sunday cruise schedule from Port Miami with a weekday schedule from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale to Bimini every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday beginning October 14, 2014.

“The completion of the Port at Resorts World Bimini further enhances our commitment to the island, offering guests more time in port and uninterrupted cruise service during the winter months,” said Dana Leibovitz, President of Resorts World Bimini. “Growing demand for cruises to Bimini among passengers hailing from Broward and Palm Beach counties and points north has led us to add service from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale during the week. This move will make our day cruises even more accessible to the South Florida market and increase the economic impact to the island of Bimini.”

The roundtrip cruises will depart Port Everglades each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 9 a.m., arriving directly to the new Port at Resorts World Bimini and returning to Ft. Lauderdale at 9 p.m. that evening. Bimini SuperFast will continue to sail from Port Miami three days a week, Friday through Sunday.

Phase one of the new Port, which includes a temporary Customs and Immigration facility, brings many benefits to the island and provides Day-Trip visitors with more time to enjoy Bimini’s miles of white sand beaches, and the resort’s six restaurants and bars and world-class casino.

Phase two of Port construction will feature permanent facilities for Customs and Immigration; the third and final phase of construction of the Port will include a new beach experience, offering guests the opportunity to enjoy a variety of water sports onsite, as well as a restaurant and beach club, and a craft market.

 
University of Florida experts weigh in on BAMSI
Submitted by BIS   
Friday, 05 September 2014 06:38

ANDROS, The Bahamas -- The Bahamas Agricultural and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) in North Andros is “a God-sent vision of the Prime Minister” according to one Bahamian farmer at a recently held farmers’ forum. BAMSI is a national initiative aimed at modernizing agriculture in The Bahamas and, once and for all, stemming the skyrocketing food import food bill, which is now in excess of US$1,000,000,000.

According to Dr. Edward Evans, Professor of Food and Resource Economics and Associate Director of University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences International Programs, this is certainly a step in the right direction and an initiative that all Bahamians will be proud of when completed and fully operational. Dr. Evans, who headed a delegation of 10 University of Florida professors covering a wide range of disciplines, recently spent two days touring the facilities and reviewing its progress as well as reviewing the agronomic conditions. The 10 professors included an agricultural economist, horticulturist, soil scientist, biotechnologist and plant tissue culture specialist, a weed scientist, a hydrologist, livestock specialist, forester, commercial vegetable specialist, and a plant pathologist. The opportunity also was taken to interact with farmers in Andros as well as farmers from some of the other islands.

Dr. Evans lauded the effort of creating BAMSI and expressed amazement at the progress that has been made since April of this year. He pointed out that while Government cannot and should not be expected to do it all, food security is a matter of national security and is too important to be left solely to the private sector. Government has a role to play in being the catalyst to spur rural development, and agricultural development in particular, by providing the enabling environment in which private sector will see fit to become investors.

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BAMSI executives provide update on plans of the institute
Written by BIS   
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 09:37

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Godfrey Eneas, President of BAMSI and his senior executive team sat down with the Bahamas Information Services at BAMSI’s new offices in the Island Traders Building on Monday, 1st September to provide an update on the progress and plans of the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute.  

The President was beaming with pride as he confirmed that consistent with the public pronouncements of the Prime Minister at the ground breaking ceremony for BAMSI last February, the institute is on schedule to receive its first class of fifty students this fall, the 29th September 2014 to be exact.  

On the issue of a master plan to strategically guide the growth and development of BAMSI, Dr. Thomas pointed out that there a number of plans inclusive of a master plan. “We have a farm plan and we know we are approaching this project sequentially. We could not have established 15 – nearly 20-odd acres of Bananas, going up to 50 (acres) and 12 acres of Papaya without a plan.” The acreage includes 5 acres of Persian Limes and 4 acres of Coconuts. He went on to say that the farm plan includes a planting schedule, a developmental schedule, which BAMSI is following along with an irrigation system. “The irrigation system is being laid out – it must have a plan. So it is not a haphazard process that is going on,” said Dr. Thomas  

“In conjunction (with the farm plan), there is a plan for the campus, the physical structures of the campus, there is another plan for that,” chimed in Mr. Eneas, continuing that in addition to the 20-year agricultural plan for the entire sector, there are essentially four plans that make up the institute: There is a plan for the construction of the physical plant that comprises the campus; a farm plan for the agriculture infrastructure and crop development that includes processing facilities and an abattoir; thirdly there is a plan for the sequential roll out of a research and development program in the discipline marine science at the institute; and last but not least, there is an academic plan.  

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Playboy Playmate adds another reason to shout ‘WAHOO’ at upcoming Smackdown V tournament at Bimini Big Game Club
Submitted by John Bell   
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 13:02

ALICE TOWN, Bimini — A Florida girl with a love of diving and fishing, Shawn Dillon also happens to be the February 2013 Centerfold in Playboy Magazine. She’s returning for a second engagement to the historic Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina to play hostess for the upcoming Wahoo Smackdown V Tournament scheduled for November 13-15.  

Shawn, who has won major bikini competitions from Vegas to the Bahamas, grew up fishing with three brothers, either on her uncle’s boat in Bimini or in the lake in their Sarasota, Florida backyard. Also a surfer and wakeboarder, Shawn will be involved in final weigh-ins, presenting trophies and, well, posing for pictures and signing autographs for participating teams.  

Also returning to the November tournament as Grand Marshal will be writer John Hemingway, grandson of novelist and sport fishing legend Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway, who also spent considerable time fishing off Bimini as a youngster, will be chasing Wahoo onboard Miss Kethleen II, captained by Tournament Director Chase Camacho.  

Ernest Hemingway, who lived and fished in Bimini for two seasons in the 1930s, is credited with putting the tiny island on the international sportfishing map. During its heyday, Bimini anglers, including Hemingway (who is credited with being the first to land an unmutilated tuna on the docks) would catch many hundreds of blue marlin, bluefin tuna, sharks and other game fish for display and trophy mounts. Today the blue marlin granders and huge bluefin are rare. Catch and release thanks to the IGFA and conservation groups is the norm for many billfish and sharks caught, though Camacho said that wahoo, yellowfin tuna and dolphin are still prevalent in certain territories.  

“Playboy, Hemingway and the potential to catch a lot of Wahoo, should make for some bucket list memories,” said Camacho. “We already have several boats committed so it looks like we will have a competitive field of anglers.”  

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NEMA reports islands not impacted by Tropical Storm Cristobal
Written by BIS   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 10:06

Flooded road in Mayaguana, during the passage of Tropical Storm Cristobal through the Central and Southeast Bahamas.   (Photo/NEMA) NASSAU, The Bahamas – The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has confirmed that the islands in the projected path of Tropical Storm Cristobal fared well during the passage of that fourth named storm of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

On Monday, August 25, First Assistant Secretary at NEMA Chrystal Glinton said that Family Island Administrators reported very little impact, with the exception of flooding of the road in Mayaguana between Pirate’s Well and Abraham’s Bay.

By Sunday afternoon, the Bahamas Department of Meteorology issued tropical storm warnings for the Central and Southeast Bahamas, which include Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, Ragged Island, Mayaguana, Inagua, Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador.

Over a 48-hour period, Tropical Storm Cristobal was expected to produce rainfall totals of 4 to 8 inches over the Southeast and Central Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

“NEMA monitored the system because there was going to be severe water fall resulting in flooding,” Ms. Glinton said, “but those islands were not impacted.”

She explained that those islands were in a state of readiness and the Emergency Operation Centres on each island were prepared to partially activate or fully activate, if there was a need to do so.

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Tropical storm warning remains for southeastern Bahamas
Submitted by BIS   
Sunday, 24 August 2014 10:47

ALERT ON TROPICAL STORM CRISTOBAL ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY SUNDAY, AUGUST 24, 2014 AT 9AM.  

TROPICAL STORM CRISTOBAL RE-FORMS A LITTLE TO THE NORTHEAST AND IS STILL MOVING NORTHWESTWARD NEAR THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS.  

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE ISLANDS OF THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS WHICH INCLUDES CAT ISLAND, RUM CAY, SAN SALVADOR, LONG ISLAND, EXUMA AND ITS CAYS, ACKLINS, CROOKED ISLAND, LONG CAY, RAGGED ISLAND, MAYAGUANA AND INAGUA.  

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING ALSO REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS.  

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA…..IN THIS CASE WITHIN THE NEXT 12 HOURS.  

AT 8AM, THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM CRISTOBAL WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 23.0 DEGREES NORTH AND LONGTITUDE 73.0 DEGREES WEST OR ABOUT   40 MILES NORTH OF MAYAGUANA, 130 MILES EAST OF LONG ISLAND AND 310 MILES SOUTHEAST OF NASSAU.

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Tropical storm warning issued for the southeast Bahamas
National Hurricane Center   
Saturday, 23 August 2014 16:00
From the National Hurricane Center, Miami, Florida

Tropical Depression FOUR Public Advisory
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE BAHAMAS HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WARNING
FOR THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS...INCLUDING THE ACKLINS...CROOKED
ISLAND...LONG CAY...THE INAGUAS...MAYAGUANA...AND THE RAGGED
ISLANDS...AS WELL AS FOR THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS...AND FOR THE
CENTRAL BAHAMAS...INCLUDING CAT ISLAND...THE EXUMAS...LONG
ISLAND...RUM CAY...AND SAN SALVADOR.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS...INCLUDING THE ACKLINS...CROOKED
ISLAND...LONG CAY...THE INAGUAS...MAYAGUANA...AND THE RAGGED
ISLANDS...AS WELL AS FOR THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
* CENTRAL BAHAMAS...INCLUDING CAT ISLAND...THE EXUMAS...LONG
ISLAND...RUM CAY...AND SAN SALVADOR

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA...IN THIS CASE WITHIN
THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

INTERESTS IN THE NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS
OF THIS SYSTEM.

Click HERE to follow the progress of this weather on the NHC website
 
San Salvador High School basketball team feted by Club Med in Florida
Written by BIS   
Friday, 22 August 2014 07:23

The San Salvador Caciques Basketball Team enjoyed a VIP stay at the Club Med Sandpiper Bay, Port St Lucie, Florida, August 9 to 16, 2014. Pictured amongst team members are teacher of the San Salvador Central High School and Coach, S. Brown; David Meyer, Chef de Village at Club Med; and Club Med GOs.  (Photo/Club Med)PORT ST LUCIE, Florida – Members of the Caciques Basketball Team of San Salvador Central High School were rewarded for their outstanding achievement in the game by being feted to a week-long stay at Club Med Sandpiper Bay.

Called the Caciques after the Arawak Indian chief, the team, accompanied by their teacher, Coach S. Brown, were given the VIP treatment upon their arrival at the all-inclusive resort also known for its comprehensive sporting programmes.

Club Med executives greeted the team at Ft. Lauderdale Airport and whisked them away in a chauffeur-driven limousine to the property where a private welcome cocktail reception and orientation at the Spanish Patio took place.

From August 9 to 16, 2014, the team enjoyed a week of activities which included nutrition presentation, private trapeze lessons, beach volleyball tournament, sailing and paddy boarding at the beach, and a basketball scrimmage versus the Club Med GOs.

It was the first time some of the youngsters travelled outside The Bahamas and they were all very appreciative of the opportunity to do so. Coach Brown, who is also President and Organizer of the San Salvador Youth Organization of which the team members are a part, explained how the event came about.

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