3-20 Cave tour, Long Island

While walking the beach at Sandy Point on Strachan Cay, we met Leonard Cartwright, the caretaker of the sole house on the island. He told us he gave tours of the Hamilton Caves which, conveniently, were on his property and owned by himself (a 6th generation Long Islander) and his cousin. This morning he picked us up at the marina, brought flashlights for everyone, and led us to an incredibly complex and extensive cave system. Stalagtites and stalagmites were everywhere, and we marveled at the salt as well as fresh water underground pools. He told us many anecdotal stories, as well as indicated that the local population took shelter in the caves during hurricane weather conditions. Five species of bats inhabit the caves, the smallest being about 2 inches in length. Several university groups have done research studies of the cave system, including the University of Florida (go Gators!). The cave tour took about 1 1/2 hours and afterwards, Leonard stopped by the local grocery store so we could stock up on a few fresh items, then stopped at the blue hole, another local tourist attraction nearby. It was an enjoyable morning and we recommend contacting Leonard at 242-472-1796 (cell) or 242-337-0236 (home). Cave entry fee $10pp; transportation and guide service $30. Btw, wouldn't try to walk the caves yourself without a guide; it's much too easy to get lost.

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