To the Bat Cave!

My online research has indicated that there are two known bat caves on Saint Martin (the third and largest was destroyed in development some years back). After a couple months of anticipation, today I entered one for the first time. Located on Billy Folly, the hill behind the Pelican resort, I was able to find it using a combination of GPS coordinates and panorama photographs taken at the cave and posted to flickr.

After plotting the coordinates on Google Maps, I headed up behind the Pelican and parked near an expansive villa with the mysterious name Cleavage. I started down a small trail, but then veered off towards the summit of Billy Folly, doing a little rock climbing and crossing over the top. From there, I used the panoramic photos to identify the general location of the cave and soon found the small hole in the ceiling of the cave. Within, a bit of light gave me the general direction of the main entrance and I headed down the rocky cliff to reach it.

The entrance to the cave is a small arch, perhaps two feet high. Once inside, I discovered the cave is quite large, perhaps 20 feet tall in places and about 30 feet wide. Smaller caverns lead off in all directions from the floor and walls of the cave. Many are large enough to crawl into, but small enough to make that a bad idea if you are alone. Perhaps a half-dozen bats were hanging from the ceiling in the main chamber, while most apparently roost in the side passages. Periodically one or more bats would fly in circles around the cave. It was spooky, and awesome.

After exploring that cave, I headed around the base of the rocks and found two more caves, although I did not see any bats in them. The second cave was quite large, with a similar large main cavern with a small hole in the top that let in light. The third cave was the smallest, with an entrance you could walk through that quickly narrowed after about ten or fifteen feet with no significant crevices that I could see.

I look forward to future explorations of this cave, and perhaps a chance to search for additional caves in the area. After that, I will try to find the cave near Mont Rouge!

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