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Snorkeling Adventures in the Turks & Caicos

Healthy, thriving reefs around Pine Cay are a wonderful way to explore Caribbean marine life

It’s another beautiful morning on Pine Cay, and after a hearty breakfast which includes the famous breakfast burrito, we contemplate our options for the day’s activities.  Today is a perfectly calm day.  The glassy ocean beckons.  Before we can change our minds – and instead pick up a book in favor of lounging at our private beachfront tiki – we decide that we cannot pass up the opportunity to go out on the daily snorkeling trip.

05

Driving along the sandy road in the battery-operated golf cart, the heat announces itself in earnest and we are anxious to find relief in the cool waters off Pine Cay.

We quickly pick out our masks, snorkels and fins from the large selection available at the Marina and board the Reef Runner.  Captain Raymond, a 30+ year ocean veteran, briefs us on the safety features of the boat and welcomes us to another glorious day of snorkeling in the colorful reefs off Pine Cay.  Off we go!

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The Reef Runner skims across the pale blue-green water, past the 3 pelicans hunting at the homeowners’ dock and heads toward the open ocean.  We speed past the bank of white sand at Fort George Cay, taking in the startling postcard-perfect contrast between the powdery sand and the crystalline waters.

06

Less than 15-minutes away await The Gardens, a vibrant carpet of sponge, boulder and brain corals that are the playground for a fantastic assortment of fish.  Once the anchor is lowered, Captain Raymond instructs us on the current flow, reminds us where we should swim and cautions us against swimming too close to the coral lest we cause any damage.  With instructions completed he lowers the stairs, tosses in the safety ring and tells us to enjoy.

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We need no further incentive to jump in.  The clear water is just the soothing balm we are seeking to cool off from the heat.  And within seconds we are off exploring the myriad of fish and corals.  It is quickly apparent why snorkeling in the Turks and Caicos Islands is such a delight.

Schools of fish go by in shimmering curtains; the corals appear to be breathing as tiny fish dart in and out of the colorful globes.  All around the hazy light and the buoyant waters cocoon us in a mesmerizing underwater adventure park.  There’s so much to left to see yet it’s so fascinating to hover over one area and simply lose oneself in this little section of The Gardens.  We bob around for a while before venturing further afield, every once in a while coming up to check our bearings.

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We see Angelfish, Surgeonfish, and small Barracuda; there is a breathtaking array of fish around us and countless, brightly colored ones we can’t identify.   We are hoping to see some rays but that may have to wait for another day.

We return to the Reef Runner feeling quite satisfied with our adventure and glance over the fish charts to see if we can identify any more fish, but our limited knowledge about ocean life and our fish-like memories leave something to be desired.

04

As we head back to the Pine Cay Marina, the breeze drying our hair and suits we take in the serene vistas along our course.  The Meridian Club is home for another 5 nights.  Weather permitting we will be back out tomorrow morning to look for rays.

Private Island with Airport

For guests of The Meridian Club

The snorkel boat leaves the Marina around 10:30am each morning and is a wonderful way for guests at The Meridian Club to experience the beauty of the waters around Pine Cay and to enjoy the brilliant marine life with an experienced Captain.  If you are interested in joining the daily excursion simply add your name to the list in the reception area and head down to the marina where your boat awaits.