ALICE TOWN, Bahamas -- Some 30 miles from this tiny Bahamian Out Island is a portal to what writer Rod Serling would describe as a “dimension as vast as space and timeless as infinity”, a mysterious vortex where sometimes electronics fail, compasses spin and dolphins seem extra-friendly.
Nature’s oddities are not unfamiliar occurrences in and around Bimini. Followers of new age psychic Edgar Cayce, for example, swear that Bimini’s uniquely formed underwater stone formations -- the much-debated Bimini Road -- are a path leading to the lost Atlantis.
Joining with the mysterious Bimini Road is The Vortex, a section of energy northeast of the island that has stymied visiting mariners, fishermen and divers.
It is, as one longtime captain called it, “a mystery wrapped up in an enigma.”
“It’s eerie, like a pond in the middle of the Gulf Stream,” said Diana Weber, director of sales and marketing for the historic Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina, which now offers daytrips to the spot. “We have one of the few dive boats with bathrooms large enough to reach the spot for full day snorkeling and diving.”
Is the vortex part of the legendary Bermuda Triangle? This undefined region, which roughly covers 500,000 square miles, in the west part of the North Atlantic, has reputedly claimed dozens of ships, planes and people -- all disappearing without an explanation. The most famous story being the disappearance of Flight 19 -- five Navy Avengers that vanished during a training mission in 1945.
“I can’t even begin to explain the Bimini Vortex,” said Weber. “I do know it does sometimes have an effect on electronics, and divers who have encountered dolphins tell us stories of how they approach quickly and make face-to-face contact.”
Weber said more than five groups have booked the Bimini Vortex Dive in 2013 and 2014. The groups were comprised mostly of international visitors interested in the Big Game Club’s organic food and room products, gluten-free and vegetarian meal offerings and on-the-water programs.
“We leave the docks at 7:30pm and return around 5 or 6pm,” Weber said. “The daily rates for groups with equipment are around $150 per person depending on the group size. The 60-foot dive boat holds up to 50 snorkelers or 35 divers with full equipment. It’s pretty amazing to experience. Our next trip out to the Vortex is at the end of October 2013.”