Rumored to be both one of the tighter caves in Puerto Rico and to have a hard-to-find stream inside, we were excited to explore this one.
We met up with Dave and Ashlee in the morning and parked at the roadside at the cave entrance. The fence SEPRI had installed was in good shape.
We entered the cave, climbed up into the breakdown room, and used a rope for the downclimb to exit the breakdown room and continue.
About 30 minutes into the cave, we were all perspiring profusely. This one was certainly the warmest cave I’ve ever been in. We were all soaked with sweat, and decided to search primarily for the stream to cool ourselves down, and turn back within an hour if unsuccessful. The sweat was running in my eyes, filling my gloves, and absolutely drenching my lower back where my backpack rested.
We soon found a lead requiring several tight army-crawl passages and head-high openings to awkwardly pass. Then it was a full 20 minutes of crawling on our knees.
This passage then intersected in a perfect T, with identical passages branching left and right. We followed each for a minute, but they just kept going! There was no sound of water, and we turned back. Sweat continued to drip off the tip of my nose for 20 minutes of crawling.
Back in the main passage, we sat down, ate sugar-rich snacks, and felt better. We decided to go just a few minutes farther down the main passage. Soon we found an ankle-deep stream flowing to the right, into a small passage labeled with flagging as ‘Tom’s River’.
We followed this passage. Never more than three feet high, the stream had several swims and
much wading, sometimes with low air space. I cannot convey enough the pleasure of entering this fresh water after two hours of intensesweating!
This stream came to a T-junction with another stream, after several hundred feet of crawling. We followed it down, through multiple pools and a ceiling of 10-15 feet, until coming to a 20-foot waterfall. While possible to downclimb, we decided it was somewhat risky, and returned.
We continued ten minutes to the end of the main passage, finding a large room of white stalactites and and a breakdown pile leading up to a ceiling studded with fossils. We decided to head back to our cars.
When we were about to leave, a car pulled over. A woman lowered the window, stated that she owns the abandoned house at the cave entrance, and asked us about our trip. She was very friendly, and thanked the caving community for the fence they built here to reduce the illegal dumping on her property.