Hurricane Irma on Sep 7, 2017, 2pm.
We appreciate and thank all our friends around the world for your concerns, encouragements and support during the storm caused by hurricane Irma this week.
Early morning on Wedensday, September 6th, the hurricane Irma made a landfall on the island of Barbuda, with maximum wind speeds of 295 km/h (180+mi/h, 160kts), causing severe damage and destruction of the 90% of the buildings on this small Caribbean island.
Irma then moved on to St. Martin, by the mid-morning with still the same wind speeds and similar levels of destruction — only to move onto the Virgin Islands by the afternoon still with the same intensity.
By the night, Irma passed 50 km away form San Juan in Puerto Rico, as a Category 5 hurricane. Since the island of Puerto Rico is several degrees more South than the North Coast of Dominican Republic, everyone thought that we were going to get a direct hit, starting from Punta Cana on the East.
Fortunately, Irma made a turn upwards, passing 150 km away from the North Coast, mainly because of the central mountain ranges (Cordillera Central) stretching throughout the island, with its highest point, Pico Duarte (3,087m), nicknamed “the roof of the Caribbean,” as the highest mountain top in the entire Caribbean.
Another reason why Cabarete, Sosua, and Puerto Plata didn’t suffer a major damage from the winds of Irma, is the fact that the wind was coming from the West at the time when it was the strongest, encountering the Loma Isabel de Torres mountain, located behind Puerto Plata. Although only 800 meters high, Loma Isabel de Torres was high enough to give a natural protection to the towns downwind — in this case, the city of Puerto Plata, Sosua, and Cabarete, where GoKite is located.
Toady, on the 9th of September, things are back to normal; we have a beautiful day with 20-23 kts winds, and many kiters in the water. Looking forward to a great fall season — please check out kiteboarding lessons and packages if you’d like to join us — and thanks again for your support and concerns!