Where is Santa Cruz? It’s one of the many islands of Channel Islands National Park, off the southern coast of California.
Very unlike Catalina, Santa Cruz is completely rustic. That means that you have to bring your water and food — and kayak guides! — with you when you go there. But it’s worth it!
Here’s the story of how my family bonded in the sea caves of Santa Cruz, in the summer of 2002…
We had arrived on Santa Cruz the day before, via national park ferry from Ventura. After 20-miles on the ferry, we then had to cart all our gear for this rustic adventure 1/2-mile inland to our campsite in a grove of giant eucalyptus trees (see below for fun Santa Cruz fact!)
We returned to the beach to snorkel — normal creatures, abnormally crystal water! — and after a camp dinner of noodles and chicken, hiked over this scrubby, barren, Santa Cruz landscape to a western cliff, to watch sunset.
“Island Packers” met us on the beach the next morning. Outfitted with helmet, vests, and paddles, in our sit-upon kayaks, our guide led us out across the glassy green water of Santa Cruz’ Prisoner’s Harbor.
Santa Cruz’ shoreline is riddled with hundreds of seacaves. One unforgettable cave held the Green Room: you kayak into this dark cave mouth and through a narrow, dark tunnel. Then a room
Later we paddled west, around the point, to Surging T Cave and Little Blowhole Cave. The guide had to time our entry by the waves, since only between sets could you paddle through the opening without the surge bumping you up on the cave ceiling.
I would NOT recommend this outing without a guide who’s not only a kayak expert, but who also has intimate knowledge of these caves.
NOTE FROM MELANIE at TOUGH LOVE TRAVEL…