There is a calm on these mystical waters, blue, silent. Somewhere among the mangroves there is a sanctuary.
Ansil slowly drives the flats boat, the one he built with his own hands, negotiating the green, taking us on a watery path only he knows until he stops to peer at the sky.
In the mangroves, rushing water turns to pond-like stasis; it is a curious sensation, to be in the middle of the ocean and be totally still, the sort of place where silence itself comes to find silence.
The engine turns on again and we move forward, surging through the worn-out canopy of the mangroves until we reach it.
Here, shielded by this peculiar coastal forest, is where he went.
We are in this corner of The Bahamas following the trail of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who came to Bimini seeking just this kind of ethereal tranquility.
In 1968, King joined his friend, Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr, a longtime visitor to Bimini, and needed a bonefishing guide. They found Ansil Saunders, already a bonefishing expert at the time and today one of the world’s legendary bonefishermen.
King had already been to Bimini in 1964 with Powell, during which time he wrote his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, and it was during the 1968 trip that he wrote his famous “Sanitation Workers” speech.
Saunders took King here, through “Bonefish Creek,” where today there is a small observation deck and a bust honoring Dr. King, hidden away among the mangroves.
“When I stopped the boat, there were some birds overhead, the tide trickled by, snappers were running under the mangrove roots and a stingray was burying and reburying itself,” Saunders recounts. “Dr. King looked up and said, ‘There’s so much life here … so much life all around us. How can people see all this life and yet not believe in the existence of God?’” [. . .]
For full article, see https://www.caribjournal.com/2018/01/14/following-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-bimini/?