Frequently Asked Questions
CAN I SEND MAIL TO BIMINI?
Bimini postal service is highly unreliable. Letters can take anywhere from 1 – 7 months to appear in Bimini, based on our experience. If you are happy to send at your own risk, you can post to:
Bimini Shark Lab
15 Elizabeth Drive
If you need emergency medication or similar, we can have this sent to our FL office at your request.
WHAT IS THERE TO DO?
The South Island of Bimini is relatively small, there is one bar that offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and one convenience store. There are some nice snorkel spots that you can visit, which are accessible from land on South Bimini. The North island offers more to do with restaurants, stores, and a small grocery store. This is readily accessible as it is a 30 minute walk from the Shark Lab, and short ferry ride away ($4 round trip)
HOW MUCH MONEY SHOULD I BRING?
We recommend a budget of $30-40 CASH per week for dinner, drinks and day off activities. All meals are provided, except on the day off when you are allowed to cook for yourself at the station with allocated ingredients. You are not expected to spend money on food, but it is a nice treat on the day off if you choose to venture out.
DO YOU CATER TO VEGETARIANS?
Yes! However, as there are limited supplies in Bimini we cannot cater for all food preferences/allergies. If you have additional dietary restrictions (vegan diet, gluten fee etc.) you will be expected to supplement your own diet.
Note that a large part of shark research requires the fishing, culling, and storage of fish as bait. While you do not have to take part in the culling of fish, you need to be ethically comfortable with the process as a whole and playing a role as required.
WHAT IS THE FOOD LIKE?
There is limited access to fresh food (fruits, veggies) on the island, with supplies shipped approximately once per month. As the date draws closer to our next shipment, fresh produce is limited and the lab relies on its frozen food supplies to make the majority of meals. We have a small garden and try to supply our own fresh vegetables as much as possible.
Three meals/day are provided, and all meals are fairly carb heavy to ensure the crew have plenty of energy for long field days. The lab will try to accommodate food allergies, but ask that all participants are open minded and flexible when it comes to their food preferences in Bimini. All food is sourced from Florida, with the exception of locally caught fish.
WHAT IS THE ACCOMMODATION LIKE?
The Shark Lab is located in a former Police barracks, and Doc designed the lab to imitate a research vessel. There are five cabins, (each with two sets of bunk beds), two bathrooms, and a communal kitchen and dining area. The lab is very much dormitory style living, with up to 20 people sharing the quarters at any one time.
DO I NEED/CAN I BRING SCUBA GEAR?
SCUBA diving is not required for our research and most of our field work is conducted via freediving or snorkelling. There is a dive shop on North Bimini that offer dive trips and rental gear. Please keep in mind that storage space is limited - we prefer you do not bring SCUBA gear.
CAN MY FAMILY OR FRIENDS VISIT?
Yes, however friends and family cannot stay at the Station. There are a variety of relatively cheap accommodation options close to the station ($100/night upwards). We can share our contacts with you when in the planning stages. Ideally, the visit would not overlap with any Courses or important pre-scheduled projects. We expect volunteers to work during these visits, however, we are flexible and will try give you time off if our schedule allows. Please note that flights, meals, activities, accommodations etc are not the responsibility of the Shark Lab.