Back to San Diego to retrieve the air conditioner

Concluding the US tour, I headed back to San Diego where my brother picked me up from the airport. I headed to his house and I was anxious to see the air conditioner. Gary mentioned the box looked to be in pretty bad shape.



Well, that did not look good. Gary and I carefully unpacked it and did an inspection.



Everything looked OK, so we took it to Gary's back yard and hooked up the hose and the power and out poured cold air. All good. We packed it back into the box and Gary ran to harbor freight and bought gorilla tape and a dolly and we went to work packing 100 lbs of luggage into a way too small box.


The website on Volaris Air said the max luggage weight was 100 lbs and physical dimensions that we appeared to be acceptable, so we went to work to pack that box to 99 lbs.


We found an old huge suitcase in Barbara's storage shed from 1965 and filled that with cellular antenna, 25 feet of insulated ducting and A/C vents and I managed to fit in my dirty clothes and heavy jacket that I was pretty sure I would not need on the trip down (ha).


The payload turned out to be 88 lbs for the box and 24 lbs for the suitcase and I had my carry on. we strapped the box onto the dolly and set the alarm clocks to 6:00 AM for the flight and I dreamed of cool air flowing through my stateroom.



6:00 AM sharp we were up and off to the Tijuana airport. Tijuana is an interesting airport; one can enter on the US side and walk across the border inside the airport and check into a domestic Mexican flight. I discovered that by laying the 24 lb suitcase on the 88 lb box and towing my carry on behind I could manage to navigate most obstacles in the airport, but I was a sight to behold. The starting gate was the US side -- passport and boarding pass -- easy, then the line to get to Mexico; passport and visa and a fee for something that had to be cash in pesos only -- over to the money exchange to get pesos, then back in line, pay the fee and down the elevator to another stop. Declare what you are bring over! Lots of lines for nothing to declare, but the lines for something to declare had no attendants. I choose the nothing to declare line.


A man approached me and asked what was in the box. I told him the truth and he demanded to see the sales receipt and I showed it to him -- he took me directly to the line with something to declare. I waited and finally the attendant showed up. She did not know how to process a credit card for the duty so she called her manager -- blah blah blah finally they figured out how to take my money. I was free to go and check in my luggage.


The attendant at the luggage check in told me it was too heavy, but I was armed with their website information to argue my case. She called the manager and he confirmed that the package was acceptable but the box was too damaged to fly. I had to go and repackage it. He took me to another station to discuss it and we began a discussion on why the box was not sturdy enough to fly. The original attendant stepped over to hand me my boarding pass and said something in Spanish to him. He looked at me in disgust and said "OK - I'll take it as is" The original attendant said your flight is almost done boarding, I suggest you run. I did. As I left the other guy yelled out to me that he could not check the dolly and I needed to take it with me. I yelled back "just keep it as a gift from me"


As I approached the gate, they were closing the door and I barely made it. While catching my breath and finding my seat I thought to myself, there is NO WAY that box is going to make it on this flight.


The flight was on time and uneventful. I disembarked the airplane and noticed that outside the big window the baggage handlers were approaching the airplane. I took a moment to stand and watch thinking how I was going to get back to the airport tomorrow to pick up this box. The very first item to come down the ramp was my box. That guy must have done some kind of heroics to make that happen. I was overjoyed.


At baggage claim I called over a fellow with a hand truck and he took all of the luggage right outside to my taxi and I was off to San Carlos -- Box, suitcase and all.


I was dropped off at the marina dock gate and now I had to carry my 88 lb box down the dock to the boat. It made it!



Everything looked like it was in good shape.


I was home back on Coda.


I had done a good deal of work on the basics of the install prior to my departure, so I decided I needed to get it off the back porch so it would not be in the way while docking and moving around the boat. I decided to at least get the main device in place and bolted down prior to leaving San Carlos. While I was at it I hooked up the electrical and plumbing, fired up the unit. It worked.



I had to tear up the boat to get things in place. I had to plumb the pump in the engine room and run ducting to both staterooms. It was a mess but I did get the first steps completed. Boat yoga is always hard on the body and I had a good 14 hours of it by 11:00 PM when I finished so I was exhausted, hot and very tired. It was so nice to turn on the air conditioning and lay on my bed after the cold shower and sleep.



Note the black vent over my nightstand. Cold air pours out and it falls across the bed.


The next morning we took off for a 24 hour run to Topolobampo. I was happy to not have to move much that day.

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