Kayaking Santa Cruz Island Sea Caves

Back to ZAGWAP site

A couple Summers back, Brent and Rick and I went with the Santa Barbara Adventure Company for their Adventure Sea Cave tour. It's billed as something like 3 hours of Kayaking along the coast and into various sea caves. While I have been to the Islands many times, the only time I've been in sea caves, were the submerged ones you aren't supposed to go into. I was really looking for ward to it, because the shallow kelp beds along the shore are just amazingly beautiful, even above water.

We left Ventura Harbor about 10, so that was easy. It's about an hour across the channel. It was overcast, but warm enough. We saw a number of porpoises during the crossing.

I so love the beauty of the island shores..

This shows the area and the route from Ventura Harbor to Scorpion Landing.

I think this is Platform "Eureka". They all have names. The diving under them may be the most vivid on the
entire coast because they are out in the open water. They are covered with scallops, brittle stars, mussels,
feather worms, Strawberry Anemones of every color and other filter feeders that thrive in the currents. The
starfish like the mussels and there are some fish making a living there... It's somewhat advanced diving, but
oh so exotic, lush and beautiful.
You never know what you will see while crossing. Life is thick and whales are common. We did
see a few spouting.

Click this for Underwater Pics of the Oil Rigs... if you are curious...

The valley where Scorpion Landing is, including the pier on the right of the image. It's nice that being
on the inside of the island, it tends to be lake like calm.

From the wharf you can see the beach area where the kayaks are stored and you launch from.

It's not a small boat you take over.
Looking up the island, you can see the area we went to during the last half of the trip. It's
real fun paddling through the shallow channels where you can see the life on the rocks
really well.

There is old equipment from the ranch. There is a lot more to see as you walk.. There was a lot
of cattle ranching on the island,. It has been phased out as the Park Department has tried to
restore the island to it's more natural state.

I sort of blew it by not getting a picture of the really majestic Eucalyptus tree near
the kayak gear area.

And these are the famous Island Foxes that have no fear of humans.

Cute little fox kit, but don't be fooled. You are repeatedly warned that they will raid anything
you leave unattended and they do not fear you any.

Choo Choo... It got really nice after the overcast burned off.

The water is very clear and you can see the bottom easily. Notice the Red Pelagic Crabs. They make the local
fish happy.

This is what the islands are to me. So rugged, so inviting and so much beauty just below the surface.

You can see the kelp on the surface, but follow it down with your eyes and you will suddenly be looking at
the bottom.

It gets thick.

Now here is the problem. Some of the caves don't go in very far. Some go in hundreds of feet. It's hard to
get pictures in any of them... cuz it's dark and a flash cannot light up how huge they can be. It's awesome!

This shows the size a little bit. Brent and Rick were together. Most people were in two
person Kayaks. I thought I would be more maneuverable in a one person Kayak. Well, yes,
but you do have to paddle more.

Most of the caves were fairly large, but some were sort of small. The guide would usually go in the smaller
ones first to check out wave and tide. Then we would follow. There was one where the guide went in and
I decided to follow first. I was told after that "you went in... then your kayak came out... then you came
out". Yes, low roofs can be a problem for me.
In the biggest cave we went into, we went through about
three chambers, each smaller than the last. The guide went into the last one. When he came out, he said it
was not a good idea for us.

The exits may be a lot smaller than the inside.

And everybody had a good time.

The channels between the offshore rocks were really fun. The shore is rugged. The water is beautiful.

And he couldn't care less...
So, are you coming with me if I set up a trip ... say July 2019?