If fishing is a religion, and fly fishing is its high church, then Pine Cay in the Turks and Caicos must be heaven.
The shallow flats around our private island and neighboring cays are home to the bonefish, one of the most sought-after sport fish in the Caribbean.
Weighing up to 19 pounds and growing to 35 inches, the silver bonefish, is pound for pound said to be the strongest and fastest moving of any saltwater fish – a hooked bonefish can swim more than 25 miles an hour (a trout can can make a sprint of 5 miles an hour).
Fly-fishing for bonefish in Turks and Caicos is an almost sublime experience. Imagine wading in warm, shallow turquoise water, or cruising the shallows on a flats skiff.
Where to go bonefishing near Pine Cay
It’s often said that bonefishing is a lot more like hunting than it is like most other forms of fishing – you have to first find the fish, which can be difficult, as their silver-grey color makes it easy for them to blend into the shallows and flats.
Bonefish generally appear when the tide comes in. They eat shellfish, crustaceans, and other animals found in the sand of the flats.
Caicos Bank, to the south of Pine Cay, is a large area of wadeable flats that is, perfect for exploring with our guide in a skiff in search of prime bonefishing spots. The Bank side of Pine Cay, accessible from land, is also great for do-it-yourself bonefishing.
What to bring
While equipment and gear can be arranged through the Meridian Club. However, if you’re an experienced angler and you want to try fly-fishing for bonefish in the Turks and Caicos, here are some hints on what to bring:
Fly Rod – 7-9 wt.
Weight-forward floating fly line and 9-12 ft. tapered leaders with 10 lb. tippet
No. 4-6 tan Gotchas or Crazy Charlies are typical bonefishing flies
Polaroid sunglasses with amber lenses
Hook hone to keep hooks sharp
Make sure all of your gear is salt-resistant and created specifically for saltwater fly fishing.
You’ll be out in the sun for quite a while, so sunscreen and a hat are a must.
The Meridian Club runs it’s own charters with our experienced guide, JR.
If you’re looking for an off-island outfitter we recommend:
Silver Deep: Arthur Dean – 649-946-5612 or Paula – 232-5612 (Bone and Deep Sea)
Catch the Wave: Ed Misick – 649-941-3037 (Bone or Deep Sea)
The Meridian Club on Pine Cay is a private island resort in the Caribbean. It has developed a quiet reputation for secluded beach vacations with an environmentalist sensibility. Two miles of private white-sand beach and a private airstrip with only 13 beachfront hotel rooms … hooked already? Check out The Meridian Club rates!
Still, many people have a lot of questions about the private island hideaway that is The Meridian Club on Pine Cay. Here are some of them:
Where is Pine Cay?
Pine Cay is part of the Turks and Caicos Islands, which is a small British Overseas Territory located in Caribbean, southeast of the Bahamas and about an hour by plane from Miami.
Pine Cay lies to the northeast of Providenciales, the westernmost island in the Turks and Caicos, and the main commercial and transportation hub.
Can I fly my plane to Pine Cay’s private airport?
Yes! We’re a private island with an airport, so if we have space to put you up, private pilots can fly in for an overnight stay or a vacation.
Pine Cay paved runway is 2500 feet long with an unpaved 1000+ foot buffer to the east and clear approaches in both directions. Parking space is available adjacent to the airstrip for up to 10 airplanes. No airport landing or parking fees are charged.
Is there fresh water on Pine Cay?
Since we’re proud of our eco-stewardship, we’d like to point out that, for the most part, The Meridian Club on Pine Cay is a sustainable operation, and this means that we do not pipe or ship in water from other parts of the Turks and Caicos islands.
Instead, we rely on a wonder of nature – a natural freshwater lense, forty feet deep, that lies beneath our resort. Amazing as it may seem, fresh rain and groundwater is lighter than the saltwater below and so floats atop of it. Rainwater replenishes our subterranean oasis.
What’s the weather like?
A constant breeze and relatively low humidity (60%) means that we have perfect weather. Temperatures range from the low 80’s in winter to above 90 degrees in the summer.
Come visit, relish in the privacy of your own retreat, and enjoy a life that’s free of stress.
The best part of any holiday is the opportunity to try new foods and drinks. While Caribbean rum isn’t exactly a foreign item to most people, drinking it in on Pine Cay surrounded by the murmur of the ocean a few feet away is an experience one will likely remember forever.
Floyd Forbes is the bartender at the Meridian Club and has been part of the scene since 1969 when he started working as a handyman and property maintenance until the hotel opened in 1973. As a novice behind the bar, Floyd quickly learned and excelled at the art of bartending and as his tenure grew, so did his responsibilities which ranged from head of the commissary to head of food and beverage. Over three decades later, Floyd is still the master at the bar and is responsible for cocktail service before dinner and for bar service on the pool deck throughout the day. His specialty drinks are just that – very special!
Cocktail hour at the Meridian Club starts about 6:00pm and takes place in the upstairs lounge each night when dinner is scheduled to be served indoors. Guests often show up early as they are eager to meet up with their new found friends at the club. The library bar offers abundant seating, and a balcony overlooking the pool.
Be prepared to receive a warm welcome and a tasty appetizer such as piping hot conch fritters, Caribbean-inspired hummus and pita chips, fresh salsa and crispy tortilla chips and other equally delicious finger foods. Cocktail hour in the upstairs bar is an entertaining episode of dinner party-style mingling, gossip sharing, looking through books and photo albums featuring pictures of guests over the years as well as renovations to the Club, engaging in a game of darts or mancala, and introducing new arrivals to those who have been on the island for several days. As you look through the various albums, you are bound to see some familiar faces. It shouldn’t surprise you to see that some of these people are seated around you at the bar, sipping on one of Floyd’s signature cocktails.
Come early to cocktail hour as Floyd is a terrific encyclopedia of the history and happenings on Pine Cay and guests are thoroughly entertained by his reminiscings. If you are the wagering type, consider yourself warned: do not challenge Floyd to a game of darts!
Meridian Club Specialty Cocktail Menu
Pine Cay Punch – light rum, dark rum, pineapple, orange, grenadine
Club Meridian – Canadian Club, melon liquor, Gran Marnier, pineapple
Pine Cay Cocktail – gin, Gran Marnier, grapefruit
Iguana Colada – melon liquor, pineapple, Coco Lopez
Pine Cay Smile – coconut rum, dark rum, Tio Pepe, orange, pineapple
Gombay Smash – dark rum, coconut rum, Triple Sec, pineapple, lemon syrup
Yellow Bird – white rum, crème de banana, Galliano, pineapple, orange
Pine Cay Breeze – melon liquor, vodka, crème de banana, pineapple
Mai Tai – white rum, Triple Sec, amaretto, pineapple, lemon
Pine Cay Iced Tea – vodka, gin, rum, tequila, lemon, coke
Toasted Almond – amaretto, Kahlua, half and half
Zombie – white rum, dark rum, amaretto, Triple Sec, lemon orange
Tropical Delight – vodka, crème de coconut, pineapple, cranberry, orange
Rum BBC – Baileys, banana, Coco Lopez
Caicos Express – white rum, dark rum, Kahlua, cream
Mambo Special – dark rum, coconut rum, Triple Sec, lemon orange, pineapple
Caicos Calypso – light rum, Tia Maria, crème de coco, milk
*** Most specialty cocktails are priced at $13 ***
One of the most common questions we hear at The Meridian Club is, “Aside from the beach, what else is there to do on Pine Cay?” There is so much going on in that question, we don’t know where to start!
Yes, it’s true the beach is spectacular. I have had the good fortune of working with The Meridian Club, in various capacities, for the past ten years. On one trip, which was more of a social nature, I met a new homeowner on the boat back from Pine Cay to Providenciales, Turks & Caicos. He was so excited about his home that he offered details about his methodical research for the “perfect island house.” The greatest criteria was it had to have a nice beach, both in its natural appeal and limited population. He searched for many months and took several visits throughout the Caribbean, and eventually found there is nothing better than Pine Cay. To him, it is the perfect beach hideaway.
There is an abundant list of activities on Pine Cay. What tends to happen is after our guests arrive, they make their way to their unit (beach suite, cottage or private home) and then go out to the beach where they tend to stay for the next week – reading books, taking walks, snoozing through a nap (or two.) At Pine Cay we allow the guests to inquire about activities, instead of interfering with their solitude on the beach or at the pool, so unlike large hotels and resorts what you can do on Pine Cay may not be so obvious. Here is the list of activities included in your room rate.
Jogging and walking
Shelling and Beachcombing
Library and board games
Sight-Seeing on Pine Cay
Available at a separate cost: Deep-Sea Fishing; Bone fishing; Bottom Fishing; Scuba Diving, Sunset Cocktail Cruises, Spa services.
Excursions at a separate cost: Fort George Cay, Glow Worm Cruise, Turtle Watching, Little Water Cay, Providenciales, North Caicos, Middle Caicos, Grand Turk and Salt Cay.
Only on Pine Cay
So you might be saying to yourself, “I can do some of those things nearly anywhere in the Caribbean”, and you might be right about that. We do have many other activities that are unique to Pine Cay. The most popular and widely discussed is the outdoor drive-in movie night, using golf carts. It’s the night of the week guests are most likely to get to know each other. Some of our other activities have drawn attention from Steve Bennett of Uncommon Caribbean fame. He was enamored by our bell, and the “call to action” in On-Site Pine Cay: What’s With the Old Bell at The Meridian Club? and was equally found on our airstrip, enjoying it as a 12-year old might, in Uncommon Attraction: Colwes Field on Pine Cay, Turks & Caicos
So, whatever you fancy – water sports, interesting diversions or authentic Caribbean experiences – you can find it on our little 800-acre island, on Pine Cay in Turks & Caicos.
Melanie Alexander is an avid traveler, having visited over 75 countries and 38 states, taking international trips 3-15 times per year over the past thirty years. As a travel & hospitality marketing/sales professional, she has visited over 30 Caribbean islands and finds Pine Cay offers the most charming Caribbean experience, with an ideal pristine beach.