SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
bell ringer
Joined
·
4,758 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Tell me everything you personally know of Luperon DR, .......................... please. I'm thinking of spending 2020 hurricane season there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,599 Posts
Noonsite suggests it's not the corrupt hole it used to be. You're wise to try to find recent direct experience. Things change routinely on the DR, for better and for worse. I am familiar enough with DR (not Luperon directly) to know that shaking foreigners down for fake fees and overcharges is a cultural norm.

One thing is clear in all my Caribbean travels. You want to competently speak the local language, if you want the best treatment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,788 Posts
We spent about a month there in Winter 2016/17. We liked it well enough but that may not be a recommendation, we are weird.

The water is not as dirty as folks make out. Actually I found the town kind of tidy, there is not a lot of trash around, less than in Philly. The water IS very bioactive, you will shortly have lots of bottom growth. There is a sort of “ship yard” but they don’t have a lift. Not sure how they haul, didn’t wander around. No other marine services. There is some kind of “marina” 15 or 20 miles to (howling) Windward. No idea what is there. So if you are doing hurricane season in Luperon it is in the water.

Checking in requires 7 officials and took us 2 days. Not as bad as it sounds. 4 officials come to the boat, but only 2 came aboard. They were polite and professional. Then there are 3 trailers at the town dock. You just need to check in with each. If they are not there come back, you will hook up eventually. Be polite and respectful, they are doing the best they can. Carbon paper is a scarse resource. They have no ability to make copies. Don’t rub it in.

Local guys have moorings, I would NOT trust them. Local guy will come out to deliver fuel and water to you. Presumably he can help you locate assistance if needed. The “marina” has only a few slips but a nice cheap bar/restaurant with good showers. It’s a great place to hang out. We felt quite comfortable there.

The town is poor by USA/European standards. But you can get rum, vegetables, rum, fruits, rum, hardware, rum, and meat. A couple of local restaurants were OK. Some decent roadside BBQ chicken.

The marina can arrange transport.
1- motorbike: everyone rides a motor bike. They are like 125cc machines. Dad, Mom, kids, Grandmom, bikes with milk cans, bikes with an outboard across the handles. In town you just meekly look like you want a ride and a bike will offer to take you there. But only 1 gringo at a time. They travel in flocks. Muffler, what’s that?
2- trikes: think motorized rickshaw. Marina hotel will call for one if you and the Admiral want a ride to town. They have curtains so sorta water proof.
3- gwagua - Honda Civic that takes 6 passengers plus driver. These are for longer runs. Say you want to go to Puerto Plata, you get one to an intermediate town and then another to the destination. Here is the trick, they only move if they have 6 fares, it doesn’t matter if 6 won’t fit, they will rearrange hip bones to make it fit. So you “buy” the vacant seat. If you want to go as a couple just pay for 6 fares and you have a private cab. Still reasonable. Remember to carry smaller bills, sometimes the drivers can’t break the equivalent of a USA $20.
4- long distance bus goes across the island to Santo Doming stopping at the big city in the middle. AC and a bad movie. Takes all day, you need to reserve a room somewhere in advance because you will get in after dark, but reasonable.
5- car rental, rent a total wreck and tour the country side. Hopefully your wreck will be a bit better than our wreck, I was a wreck driving it. But we took a multiple day excursion and toured the mountains and other historic places. Really nifty. Actually chilly, needed a sweater.

Santo Domingo old town is wonderful and they have a huge botanical garden worth a day itself. We stayed in the Art Deco district on the water just outside the colonial walls. Clean but no hot water. Price was OK. Lots of nice restaurants just outside.

All in all we really liked Luperon and I would do it again. 6 months might get a bit long but that’s very much a personal decision. some never leave. No doubt it’s poor, but we found it safe and hospitable.
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,207 Posts
I'm sure it is and I'm thinking that for the next year. Trying to slow down.
There are no rules for cruisers that prevent you from sailing to Grenada for the hurricane season and minimizing your chances of having to go through a hurricane or two, and returning as far north as you wish after the season to restart your cruising plans. I assure you that should you go through a storm in DR, you'll wish you were in Grenada!
 

·
bell ringer
Joined
·
4,758 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Never been a hurricane hit Luperon. So I’m sure should someone go through a storm in Grenada they will wish they were in Luperon.

Of course that’s not the thread topic.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,167 Posts
Don, the reason why there's no personal experience in Luperon is that it's hellish reputation just can't beat.

I don't think I've more than a small handfilul of people who've dropped the pick there... And none do it à second time.

The problem with Hurrucan season is long. Bloody long. So your spot must be able able to sustain you intellectually for. Onths on months. Or be with a airport to buzz off and a marina so you're not at anchor whole away.

Anyway, if you do go there go a week early and see what it's like. If it's a dump then ifs only a week's easy sail to Grenada.

And then tell us what it's like.

Here's a blog that says it's great. But any place without a supermarket... You only get your veges 3 times a week.... And read up on the restaurants... (!)

Put it this way, your budget is gunna be looking great!


https://mrandmrshowe.com/lifestyle-blog/luperon-contacts-need-to-know
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,599 Posts
Never been a hurricane hit Luperon. ......
If that's even true, it must mean the eye wall hasn't gone over Luperon. Hurricanes are typically hundreds of miles wide and there's no doubt it's been hit by hurricane force winds as one passed close. Even tropical storm force winds do damage and threaten an anchorage.

I'm betting the anchorage gets pretty dangerous, when every nearby fishing vessel anchors all around for a cyclone warning.

This map strictly shows the Cat 4 and 5 storms.

 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,167 Posts
If it's protected from hurricane winds does it get any breeze at all?
Summer in the tropics without aircon. Or a trade wind would be a sweltering hell? Wouldn't it?
 

·
bell ringer
Joined
·
4,758 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I’m looking into it waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay beyond asking on forums. There are lots of direct experience around for it, from blogs to a Facebook page. I get feeling it’s a semi ****hole, but lots of cruisers like semi ****holes! My impression so far is its a good looking place to base the boat out of and save enough doing so to explore the country. Problems with stores etc make it no different than cruising Bahamas, except you can get on a bus and go to a BIG store.

So far what I’m seeing is that everyone believes 3th hand plus reports of bad stuff without really looking into it. Now people here want to “win” the thread so much they are looking up hurricane tracks, which shows nothing really. No hurricane has hit Luperon since records started being kept so that’s over 150 years. The last hurricane that got close resulted in only 60mph wind in the harbor
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,049 Posts
Don we spent a lot of time trying to lower our insurance premium. Could only find 2 companies (Pantaenius and a Lloyd s group forget exact name ) that would write a policy north of Grenada at anything close to a extreme cost. Think jolly harbor will contact you with a local company but other than that you’re looking at Trinidad or southern bays of Grenada unless you have very deep pockets for insurance with a very high deductible or self insure.
In fact it would be cheaper to hire a delivery crew and lay up in Grenada than stay in DR with insurance.

D’ems the facts as I see it. Have a good time. Seems after repetitively being hit many companies have stopped writing and those who remain are very restrictive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
508 Posts
No personal experience but reading this thread got me thinking and I found that Chris Parker agrees with you Don:


"If a west-moving hurricane passes over our large mountainous landmass, dry air and tall mountains disrupt the hurricane's structure causing rapid weakening of the entire system. If a west-moving hurricane passes south of our large mountainous landmass, then it is so far from the north coast that conditions on the north coast are mild.

Where can we find a protected harbor along the north coast of a large mountainous landmass? Luperon is one excellent example: In order for a west-or northwest-moving hurricane to affect Luperon, it would pass over 100-200 miles of the mountainous Dominican Republic, including several 10,000-foot-plus peaks located south of Luperon. This would severely weaken the hurricane, minimizing damage in Luperon."​

https://www.passagemaker.com/trawler-news/dorian-hurricane-hole-luperon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,709 Posts
Now people here want to “win” the thread so much they are looking up hurricane tracks, which shows nothing really. No hurricane has hit Luperon since records started being kept so that’s over 150 years. The last hurricane that got close resulted in only 60mph wind in the harbor
I think the confusion here is that the DR gets slammed by major hurricanes pretty regularly; however, the storm tracks are always from the South, and they have to go over huge 10,000' high mountains and 200 miles of island to reach Luperon.

None of them do get to Luperon as anything larger than tropical storm, but usually not even that.

To actually hit Luperon, a hurricane would have to come from the North, or travel directly East-West along a precise latitude, while not being influenced by mountains and land mass. This has never happened with a hurricane, but with the wacko stuff these storms do nowadays - who knows?

We have never been to Luperon. We have spent summers in Panama, Guatemala, and Grenada. Guatemala was the one place that was captive where one couldn't still actively cruise around, and it was hot and humid. However, marinas there with electricity are very cheap, so AC was available - miserable otherwise. Panama and Grenada during the summer is also hot and humid, but one is out and about cruising in clean water, usually with a breeze. Given these experiences, I would not want to stay in a place like Luperon, without AC, and not being able to more widely cruise around.

But we have no personal experience with Luperon, so I only offer the above as generalized personal preference (except for the hurricane stuff - that's just facts).

Mark
 

·
bell ringer
Joined
·
4,758 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Interesting that with the people there Luperon has a great rep, but to those who haven’t been it’s “hellish”
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,709 Posts
You may want to differentiate experiences of people who have spent a few weeks or month there in the winter from those who have spent an entire 4-5 month summer there.

Small, hot, humid places get old sitting around all summer. You may find yourself in a rut drinking large, cheap Presidentes beginning early and going late. Again, I have no experience with Luperon, but have had 11yrs now of boat experience in hot, humid places for 4-5 months during the summer. For us (only), the conditions have to be one of the following:
1. A cruisable area with some breeze and interesting activities. The San Blas Islands and Windward Islands are examples.
2. A marina with electricity for AC, and a place where interesting inland travel is possible while still based on the boat. The Rio Dulce Guatemala and other parts of Panama are examples.
3. A good marina/yard that you can dump the boat in and go someplace else for much of the summer.

Mark
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top