Guests are often curious about our roles, so we’re telling you all about it.
Our guests are often fascinated by our choice to live and work on a secluded island, seemingly far removed from the jostling speed of life in the big city, or even from the unhurried pace associated with the main island of Providenciales. And quite often, we are asked to elaborate how we fill our days on this serene island surrounded by clear skies, powdery sand and brilliant blue waters. Well, truth be told, life does take on a slower pace here on Pine Cay, but the tasks of managing a premier resort, training new staff, coordinating maintenance requirements, and ensuring supplies get delivered in time provide plenty of exciting moments!
Our typical day starts off early…
6 am: Rise and shine!
The day begins with taking Molly for a walk along one of the sand highways that crisscross the island. Molly is a black, German shepherd who joined The Meridian Club in 2008. She is on active duty as a member of our K-9 team, and although she has a handler she lives with Wally and me.
While we are out, Wally feeds our 3 cats (Lilo, Stitch and Thunder). They are all island cats. In May 2013, Thunder was brought to us by a guest when she was a one week old baby and fit in the palm of your hand. Her mother had died so we fed her with an eye dropper for 3 week. She is a terror now and thinks she is a flying squirrel. Is quite energetic and loves to torment Molly. (they are never in the same room but she torments her through the glass).
6.30 am: Wally begins his day.
Wally goes to the office at the Club House to review accounts, restock the bar and be available should anyone require the use of golf cart to go on a bonefishing adventure at the crack of dawn.
7.30 am: All systems are a go!
On this day there is no power outage, although they can happen 2-3 times per month. Guests find the experience quite charming as it really illustrates the unplugged vacation. While we haven’t had to do so in a little while, there have been times where we have run the generator for a week!
But today I come in and get started right away, reviewing emails and running the paper. I also do a check to see if any birthday or anniversary balloons need to be placed outside any guest’s door.
8 am: Breakfast.
Breakfast is served buffet-style with several choices also available from the a la carte menu. This is a great time to join guests around the pool deck and if they have any special plans for the day. Some of our guests will join the snorkel boat at 10am, others will head to the aquarium for some kayaking and the rest will likely join the yoga class, swim, read, nap or go exploring along the beach.
8:45 am: Office time.
Office time begins in earnest with staff questions, phones ringing and getting ready for any early guest departures of the day.
11:00am: Good News!
We FINALLY received our shipment of parts for the golf carts. They had been held up in Florida for several weeks – pending paperwork that the supplier failed to supply. The golf carts are the only transportation mode for guests and homeowners on Pine Cay so getting necessary parts in time is very important.
Rule of thumb: each time we have a shipment – the rules change! Not only is there the challenge of getting the paperwork correct but then we need to wait until there is space available on the container ship. Once the items have arrived in the Turks & Caicos, we need to prepare all sorts of documentation for customs clearance. And once the goods are released from customs, we have to get them trucked to the barge to bring to ship them over to Pine Cay. But that’s not the end of it… We then have to wait for a proper tide – too low and they can’t get in – and a KING tide as well so that the barge can come to Pine Cay and then leave Pine Cay. By the time the goods have finally landed on our island, the price has almost doubled.
1pm: Lunch…and a fire
Lunch is announced by the ringing of the bell. This meal is served buffet style with an assortment of hot and cold entrees, and a delicious assortment of salads. As usual, the dessert cart is overflowing with sweet treats. This is a wonderful opportunity to join a table and chat with guests about their morning adventures and to learn about their plans for the rest of afternoon.
This is usually when – after experiencing the tranquil tropical weather, the variety of things to explore, and the mesmerizing assortment of food – our guests begin to query us as to how we got here, how long we’ve been in the islands, and so forth. In the end, almost everyone says they wish they had our job.
Today, however, they may wish differently! While we were having lunch with the guests, it was raining a little bit and there was some mild thunder punctuated by a sudden loud clap. As the sky was clearing up, we continued with lunch and chatting with guests, not giving it another thought. Then Sara our Pastry Chef called on the radio to say there was a fire on the beach road down her way. A tree had been struck by lightning and there was a brush fire going which was accelerated by the wind. Mark, Sherwyn, Jodel, Melvin, Alie and Hansel arrived first with fire extinguishers. We had buckets and were using well water to keep the fire under control until the water tanker arrived with more man power and rakes. All in all it took about 20-30 minutes from start to finish, but by the end we were all soaked to the skin as the rain hadn’t abated, and we smelled like smoke!
1:30pm: Departures and Arrivals.
This is a popular time for additional departures and new arrivals following shortly after. Departures take a little longer here at The Meridian Club because everyone wants to hug people good bye – something you probably won’t see at other resorts! Departing guests receive a Goodbye souvenir: we take a photo of our departing guests for our “Pine Cay’s Most Wanted” Album and we also send them a copy as a memento of their vacation on Pine Cay.
Afternoon arrivals – guests are met by one of our staff members at the dock on Provo. Since airlines rarely feed people anymore there is always a snack, such as a chicken caesar wrap, salad and mixed fruit, awaiting our guests when they arrive on property.
3:00pm: Training session with newly hired assistant.
Staff training is a great time to instill The Meridian Club hospitality and service philosophy. Labor laws in the Turks & Caicos provide a 90-day trial period to work with new employees – very helpful when we are trying to get just the right personnel who thrive in a remote environment and enjoy engaging with our guests!
4:00pm: Wally departs to exercise, usually a run or weight lifting.
4:30pm: Nurse duties.
Today, one of our guests slipped while trying to got on the Hobie Cat and had an abrasion down the arm with LOTS of blood. Fortunately, we are well stocked with emergency medical supplies to take care of minor bumps, bruises, stings, and cuts. Before long, we had the bleeding under control and the scrape bandaged up. Happy to report that guest is doing fine.
5:30pm: Leave the “office”!
Wally usually calls me on the radio to come home. We shower and change for dinner, and are back at the club by 7pm for cocktails in the upstairs bar, OR when its Sand Dollar Cinema (golf buggy movie night) when we meet at the airport where Wally has the popcorn maker going and guests assemble to watch an episode of Hogan’s Heroes or McHale’s Navy or other old style sitcom.
Evening cocktails hour on the upper lounge offers a terrific view of the sunset and makes the perfect backdrop to share stories with others until dinner is served. Guests pore over photo albums, engage in a game of scrabble, darts or mancala, and entertain each other with their day’s adventures.
The dinner bell is rung to announce the meal service. Twice a week – local night and Jump Up – dinner is served buffet style on the pool deck. Dinners in the dining room are a 5-course tasting menu sure to delight your inner foodie.
There’s a Junkanoo scheduled for tonight – a noisy Caribbean tradition that incorporates several instruments, lively costumes and singing to celebrate a birthday or anniversary. There’s usually a special cake made for the occasion and sometimes I’ll recruit our younger guests to help create even more of a fuss.
9:00pm: End of our day.
After a little bit of play time with the cats and dog, it is time for bed. With so many wonderfully unique experiences that happened over the day, it’s hard to imagine what tomorrow will bring. But, Wally and I are looking forward to the adventures (both exhilarating and frustrating) that only life on a secluded island could deliver.
We look forward to welcoming you to our delightful haven here on Pine Cay. It would be a pleasure to spend lunchtime on the pool deck or sip a cocktail in the evening, and get to know you. If you are in the midst of planning your Caribbean holiday or if a secluded private island vacation is somewhere on your bucket list, please feel free to Contact Us for more information.