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Is there a reliable way to predict which beaches will be calm?

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Dec 18th, 2013, 11:58 AM
  #1
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Is there a reliable way to predict which beaches will be calm?

I grew up in San Diego. Each morning I listened to the surf report. Based on the swell, wind conditions, and current - I could always tell where the biggest waves were going to be and went there. Conversely, I could have also told any tourist where the calmest beaches would be.

Now I'm a tourist and would rather visit a beach that's calm.

I'm going to St. Maarten and St. Thomas in March. I'm wondering, is there a prevailing current, normal wind direction, or other factor that would make certain beaches reliably calm on those islands? If not, is there a local report that would help me pick the calmest beaches to visit?

I'm thinking of catching a taxi to the beach of my choice, any thoughts on whether this is a good option?

Thanks,
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Dec 18th, 2013, 12:31 PM
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The Caribbean side (usually the west side) of most islands will have the calmer waters while the beaches on the Atlantic side will have more waves. Likewise, the prevailing winds come out of the east, again making the leeward side (west side) less breezy. Use Google Maps to bring up St. Martin to see the location of the different beaches on the island. Choose the more protected ones for the calmest waters.

You can see the "forecast" for sea conditions in the Atlantic & Caribbean here:

http://www.stormsurfing.com/cgi/disp...a=natla_height
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Dec 18th, 2013, 12:57 PM
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If that doesn't work, you could always call Moses ;-)
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Dec 18th, 2013, 03:12 PM
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In St. Thomas Megans Bay and Coki Beach are usually quite calm since they are somewhat sheltered.
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Dec 18th, 2013, 03:15 PM
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Wind guru.com

Best for weather

But so you know, March (actually Jan thru April) tends to be breezy in general.

If there are major storms on the East Coast, in a coule of days it brings winds from the North and makes waves.

East Coast this year seems to have many storms gnu through, so it might be wavy.

Of course, if I could truly predict the weather I'd be worth a fortune!
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Dec 18th, 2013, 04:22 PM
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Since you said you were staying on St. Maarten I'm assuming you are staying on the Dutch side of the island? Simpson Bay Beach is fairly calm and Kimsha Beach, just down from Simpson, is protected by a small reef so it is usually calm. I believe there are lounge chairs and umbrellas available for rent at Kimsha. We usually go to Orient Beach on the French side, which is sometimes calm but you certainly can't count on it, particularly during the winter.

Anse Marcel on the French side was calm when we were there but we weren't there in the winter. I don't know that there's a large public beach there, however. Most of the beach is taken up by the Radisson, where we stayed. Grand Case Beach is another beach you should check out. I think it's protected and calm.

Taxis are okay for short trips but I would rent a car if you plan to explore some of the beaches on the other side of the island. Car rental on St. Martin is about the cheapest in the Caribbean.
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Dec 18th, 2013, 04:30 PM
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Sounds like cruise stops

Chances of having 1 stop per day being calm is much harder than staying a week there.
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Dec 18th, 2013, 04:52 PM
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Oh! You're probably right blamona. I completely forget about cruising!
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Dec 18th, 2013, 05:28 PM
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Webcams, windfinder.com, windguru.com and magicseaweed.com swell charts
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Jan 15th, 2014, 11:21 AM
  #10
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Thanks for the good resources. My thought is not to focus on one beach but to have some choices, then decide based on conditions that day.

Yes a cruise stop. I've only been off the west coast a few years, I'm just taking a first look at these places.
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Jan 15th, 2014, 12:12 PM
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I'll have to check out the car rental option.
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Jan 15th, 2014, 12:42 PM
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If you are on a cruise, ask the taxi dispatcher as you get off the ship. The taxi drivers watch for the ground swell and other weather that can interfere with the fare's comfort.
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