Day 2 and 3 of being back in the DR was somewhat of a nightmare for me at least! Having been in the states for 3 months I was used to being able to easily regulate the temperatures around me; with a fan, or a/c or blankets if I really needed them. Wednesday afternoon, the air conditioning shut down on the boat, which made the conditions on the boat quite terrible. As the evening approached it was too hot to close the hatches, which meant the bugs migrated inside the boat, and with no a/c there was really no comfortable place to sleep. We ended up with 3 fans in the bedroom, each of us sleeping like 5 inches from one, and although we made it through the night (with less than ideal sleep), we both woke up itching from the bug bites.
Thursday morning as the sun came up in full force we were both tired and hot and were brainstorming some solutions to our a/c problem. We decided to get up early and head to town to see if they had a small stand up a/c unit that we could plug in and run just for the bedroom. On our way out in the dingy we saw Domingo, a local who does ALL boat jobs, and asked him to clean the bottom of our boat as well as our thru hulls. We originally thought that the air conditioning problem was that there was not an adequate flow of water to cool the system because maybe the thru hull was clogged with ocean growth. Luperon harbor isn’t known for being the cleanest harbor; there is a lot of marine growth and it tends to grow FAST!
We returned from town, without finding a small a/c unit, but the bottom of the boat was cleaned and Domingo let us know that the thru hulls had been cleaned. We crossed our fingers that this was the problem and started up the air conditioner and much to our dismay it still didn’t work. Spirits were down and we were both agitated and pissed off, because the thought of having to work on something in the crazy heat was daunting. We decided though that together we could potentially work through the problem faster than if Matt worked on his own. So we set out to investigate the a/c piping to see if there were any blockages due to marine growth. We started at the thru hull which was clean from Domingo and worked our way to the water pump, hoping that we could find the problem here without having to trace all the pipes that run through the boat.
We spent about an hour unscrewing and dismantling hoses and pipes and we ended up finding some serious marine growth. The pipe that sent water from the a/c filter to the pump was almost completely clogged with barnacles! Once we cleaned this one out, we continued with the few pipes that were still easily accessible to make sure that we removed as much growth as we could. We also switched to a finer filter in the hope that not as much growth could escape into the pipes in the first place. In the end we filled a 6 oz. cup with marine growth that came from our a/c pipes. We felt that this was quite a bit and decided to give it a go and test the a/c to see if we fixed the problem.
It ran perfectly for 30 minutes at which point we were fairly certain we had fixed (at least temporarily) the problem. To our relief it continued to run ALL night and we both got a restful and cool night sleep! Crossing our fingers that it will continue to run and that marine growth is the only problem that we have to fix.
Guess I got too used to the modern luxuries of the states! It’s back to reality and boat life for me! Next order of business is to get back into the swing of cooking!
we be like…..where the fans at!