Santa Cruz, Cueva Valdez, 2018

Right after having a great trip to Willows anchorage, I returned home...and immediately went online to get tickets to go back to the island. And there were still tickets for the excursion to Cueva Valdez. I had heard of Painted Cave on previous trips from rangers, kayakers, and others. As the boat left Prisoners we started around the island, yet more beautiful coastline that was all new to me, seemingly much more volcanic than the south side I'd seen recently. And then we got to Painted Cave. There were all kinds of little crabs in the water, maybe a sign of an El Nino and warm water, birds flying in and out. But the colors, the ceiling alternated between dark rock, greens, and gold. The boat was big and could only make it a small way in, but what a beautiful area it must be on a kayak.

We were then dropped off at the Cueva Valdez anchorage being taken onshore on skiffs landing on a beach inside a sea cave. Though late in the season there were still wildflowers around and, as always, the pretty succulents that call the islands their only home. After bushwhacking up a canyon to get in a little hike, I ended the day just standing in the ocean on the pebble beach, feeling the rocks move in and out from the force of the waves. As the dolphins swam beside us on the ride back to the mainland, it reminded me yet again of just how special it is to live in this place, with such splendor so close by.

The Photographs

Picutres were from the a900 system with the 24-70 and 70-400 lenses and an iPhone SE.

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