Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island – largest sea cave in the worl

Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island – largest sea cave in the world. Three-Day Kayak and Hiking Tour of the Channel Islands (San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz – see http://www.nps.gov/chis/ ) in Southern California, 02-04 July 2009. Five of us from the Morro Bay, CA kayakmorrobay Yahoo! Group (Mike Baird, Steve Cohen, Rouvaishyana, Betty Tegner, Ron Gabel) joined eight others on a Truthaquatics (Santa Barbara, CA – see http://truthaquatics.com ) adventure outing that may have been the best vacation I’ve ever taken. Leaving Santa Barbara harbor at 4AM, we arrived at San Miguel Island’s Cuyler Harbor, opposite beautiful Prince Island, and hiked to Harris Point on San Miguel the first day, July 2, 2009, under the leadership and interpretation of the most affable and knowledgeable Sabine Faulhaber, a volunteer for the Channel Islands National Park Service, who is a German University of California Materials Dept. graduate student who had just finished her degree. Endemic plant life and many Chumash archeological sites abounded. Remnants of the Chumash civilization can still be seen in thousands of “shell middens” on the island. San Miguel Island is the only known place in the world where 4 different species of seals and sea lions breed and up to 6 species can be found. Also on Day one, July 2, 2009, we paddled a few caves near our Santa Miguel harbor mooring. On Day two in the morning, July 3, 2009, we paddled caves, arches, coves, and beaches along Santa Rosa Island near Bechers Bay and Torrey Pines. That afternoon, we paddled Santa Cruz Island, including the legendary Painted Cave, one of the largest and deepest sea caves in the world. Painted Cave, is on the northwest coastline of Santa Cruz, and is so named because of its colorful rock types, lichens, and algaes. Painted Cave is a quarter-mile long and 100 feet wide, with an entrance ceiling of 160 feet. It was within the halls of this « cathedral » created by nature’s raw power of wind and water that I experi