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  1. #1
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    Default A Couple of Questions

    I've been looking for a relatively affordable place where I can eventually buy an oceanfront condo -- located not too far from the U.S. (In my opinion, there is really no longer any both affordable & desirable oceanfront property in the U.S.) In the course of my search, I've looked at Mexico (already too expensive and the aftermath of the recent Presidential election disturbed me), Central America and the Caribbean -- all of which are not right for me for one reason or another. (I should point out that I've spent many weeks in Mexico over the last 40 years, and have visited about a dozen Caribbean islands -- including a week in Haiti, two weeks in Jamaica and several days in Santo Domingo & Puerta Plata.)

    I spent all day Sunday researching Dominican Republic (CIA website, this Website, online real estate offices, etc.), and was really surprised at the degree to which the DR is being developed -- particularly the north shore.

    Since I love to swim in the ocean every day when I'm in a tropical beach resort, a good swimming beach is essential. (I was raised in the surf of Southern California, but prefer protected waters for swimming and snorkeling.) Therefore, I would appreciate it if you could answer some questions.

    1) All Caribbean islands that I've visited have a windward and leeward side. Typically all the development is on the leeward side, where reefs are more easily formed to produce placid (good snorkeling) lagoons. In the latitudes in which DR lies, I would expect the prevailing winds to be northeasterly (bending to easterly). If that’s true, that would make the north shore the windward side of the island. (In many of the Web’s real estate photos of north shore beaches, I can see the swell and its related shore break.) Yet in reading this forum, I saw a comment that said the north shore has the best snorkeling. Can someone please explain? I would expect the windward side to have murky water.

    2) If the north shore is indeed the windward side, and if DR is mountainous, what is the affect on sea breezes on the south shore? (A fresh breeze is so nice in the tropics.)

    3) If the wind blows across the island, does that mean that one of the shores has bugs blown onto it – like the west coast of Florida?

    4) Is the north shore better protected from a hurricane, since for most of the season, tropical storms form off of Africa and move to the northwest?

    5) I assume that the island of Española is a big enough land mass that it causes a diurnal affect with wind – that is, the wind dies down at night, unlike smaller islands where it blows almost constantly? Is this true?

    These considerations may seem trivial to some, but they’re important to me in determining where to start looking for a rental, so that I can spend a few months seeing how I like it.

    All input will be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    OK here we go!!!! This is from someone who knows about the sea (ex diving instructor) but NOT a geographer, nor meteorologist, and who lives on the south coast.

    South side is Caribbean ocean, north Atlantic. (Does that help???) South has good snorkelling where the reefs haven't been zapped by hurricanes - ie Catalina Island. Sea is calm on the whole.

    Wind comes from the east usually. Sometimes it is windy, sometimes not. Very windy when there is a hurricane though!

    can't remember seeing many bugs blowing around in the wind recently.

    not sure about diuranl affect at night (thought that meant getting up and going to the toilet a lot - that must be diurinal). The wind does tend to get up in the afternoon and die down at around 6pm.

    Hope that helps, but I am sure that many people on this forum know far more about the meteorology of the island than me.

    matilda

  3. #3
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    Default Why Such Hostility?

    When a person lives on a Caribbean island, and thinks that the question of where the wind blows from is complex geography or meteorology, I think most would agree that's pretty silly. If you don't know, that's fine, but I've spent enough time on this board to know that there are some pretty smart participants. Maybe one of them knows the answers to these very simple questions.

    As for you other respondents, chill out. This isn't rocket science.

    I'm used to dealing with the ocean sailing community, which consists of a lot of smart people to whom these questions would seem perfectly logical, and who would be happy to answer them.

    I'd really appreciate one of the more mature members of the group assisting me please by answering my questions.

  4. #4
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    Don't worry about some of the "replies".

    You'll find there are quite a few very helpful ppl on this board.
    Just give it a bit of time, and I'm sure you'll get some more useful replies like Matilda's.

    I'd love to be able to give you some more information, but when I lived there, it wasn't something I paid special attention to.

    As far as hurricanes...I believe quite a few boaters tie their boats up around Luperon (on the North coast, west of Puerto Plata) during the hurricane season. The DR seems to be fairly lucky in general when it comes to hurricanes missing it, or not damaging it too bad.

    The actual Scientific reasons for that...I couldn't comment on..lol

  5. #5
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    I get up every morning wishing I was about 20 years less mature, but there you go, you can't have everything. Of course it is important where the wind blows from when you come to building or buying a home. As I said, it comes from the east. If you want to know about hurricanes, go to Caribbean Hurricane Network - stormCARIB.com - Local Reports on Tropical Systems threatening the Caribbean Islands. That will give you the data from the last 100 years. And if you want an affordable home, don't come to Juan Dolio, you will need 250,000-1.5 million just for a tiny condo on the beach, and they will have gone up again by the time you read this. And I hope a smart sailor comes on and answers all of your questions.

    matilda

  6. #6
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    i´ve send you a pm

  7. #7
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    Wind comes from the east up here on north coast too. We get increased breeze in late afternoon, same as Matilda does. Haven't noticed bugs blown in but if you live anywhere near any construction there will be lots of dust particles in the air when the wind gets up.

  8. #8
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    Default Local Winds

    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz View Post
    .... where I can eventually buy an oceanfront condo --...
    If that's your intention you'd want to come here and live here for some time, a year is what I suggest.
    During that time you can study the winds...

    Janin

  9. #9
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    North coast better protected from hurricanes than south coast, and on the North Coast, Sosua and Puerto Plata much better protected than Samana. Almost without exception, storms headed toward north coast curve north towards Bahamas and US before getting to Sosua.

    We get a nice breeze, especially in afternoon. Dies down at night usually. Normally breeze from East, but in the winter when a cold front drops down this far, we get wind and waves from the North.

    The condo I live in is not bothered by bugs, but we do have screens on the windows. They are highly recommended. But when walking outside in the evening, I am not attacked.

    My wife and I were cruising liveaboards before buying a condo in Sosua. We have spent time on all the islands, especially St Lucia and Trinidad, and the equivalent of a year or more in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. No question that the DR is the best island of the eastern Caribbean. Prices most affordable, you have more to choose from, people are friendlier and without the issues we observed on many other islands, and in all the years that I have been in the DR I never once felt I was on an island. When we would visit other islands,one of the first things we did was to take public transportation around the island, You can go all around the others on coastal roads is a half day or a little more. This is certainly not the case here.

    Many of the beaches have off-shore reefs. Inside the reef it is usually good snorkeling. There are also beaches for people who like surfing, wind surfing and kite surfing. You need to pick the beach you want for what activity. With its long coast line, there are lots of beaches to choose between if living here.

  10. #10
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    Fritz, the island is big with high mountain ranges. If you compare with other islands, the size of the DR changes those comparisons. Because of the high mountain ranges we have micro climates. Diurnal effect? In some areas yes, in some no, because of the size. Please have a look at the geography of the Samana peninsula and you'll soon discover the micro climate effects. Some areas of the North Coast suffer from bugs, others don't as the mountain ranges bend the winds a little.

    I would suggest that if these issues are important to you, you spend some time on the North Coast, some on the South Coast and some in Samana and some on the East side of the island.

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