Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Sometimes I think I creep people out. I don't mean to, but it happens I guess. After a good migraine, like the recent one, I tend to be in a fog for a few days after. Usually there is still a dull throbbing headache for a few days, and I tend to mumble and look right through people when talking.  I'm in one of my brain dead moods right now dealing with my propane system that has some expensive issues, and I've been mumbling about it all day. I went to a propane tank refill place today. I walked in and nobody was around. I walked through the place looking in offices trying to find someone but it was empty of humans. I started whistling as I walked around the quiet and deserted place, and that's when this woman popped in from having a smoke. I scared the shit out of her. Sorry lady. The woman said nobody was available to fill my tank today, or like ever. I kind of smiled a little and said "OK, have a nice day", and slowly mumbled my way out the door. I thought I heard the door lock behind me.

I went to West Marine to get a new hose and fitting for the propane system that's eating my brain and I recognized a fellow cruiser who writes an awesome blog. She really is a great writer, and I enjoy her sailing tales when I see them posted in my reader. I saw the name tag, verifying it was indeed the person I was thinking of. I thought I would say hello. I mumbled a quiet "hello", in a creepy zombie sort of way. I don't know, maybe it wasn't all that bad, but I think I left a "weirdo" impression. Oh well. Sorry Dana. It was not a good day for me.
I moved along to my next social failure, which I found on the phone. I had a hard time explaining the propane tank issues I have, and some folks just said they couldn't help me and hung up rather rudely on my droning Lurch like voice. Several attempts to explain my situation resulted in some immediate disconnects. One woman talked to me like I was a child. You know, sometimes you are better off avoiding people and just reading a good book in the cockpit - like, all day long. Venture out into the world when you feel like you belong :)

Hello. I read your blog. 
This propane deal I have going is regenerating my migraine. I have some older ten pound horizontal propane tanks that no one will fill. I'm sure they would in Mexico, but not in the US anymore. I was getting them filled down the road, (empty office, scared woman) but then they stopped filling tanks and I had to go to their parent office, where they told me to get lost. So did every other place I called and visited. I finally called a tank manufacturer and they told me they do not make an OPD valve for my tank. Nobody does. Son of a ...
These tanks are about three hundred dollars, and I was hoping to get them converted, but two tank manufacturers told me no way it can happen. I called a tank part place as well and they said the same thing. Damn it!

Sometimes boats can be friggin frustrating. It's like every time you make a move there is another couple hundred bucks to spend. Makes my head hurt. Still cheaper than a house, so I should not bitch too much I suppose. You know I wouldn't have it any other way. This is still the way to go.

So, I have a new fitting and hose that will hook up to a gas grill tank. I can do a tank deal with Blue Rhino down the street until we can figure out what to do with our outdated two tank system. Go with new aluminum horizontal tanks, or one vertical? Hmm. We must discuss and engineer. In the meantime we can look pretty trashy with a twenty pound tank sitting on the back deck. Maybe I'll leave a couple beer bottles in the dinghy to complete the look. If anyone stops by I'll just mumble quietly and stare over their heads.

Cheers...I guess.

Cree P


  1. In the past, we found a u-haul place where the filler guy really didn't seem to care what he was filling. Later, we found a place where they would put new values on old tanks and re-certify them. It was a matter of hunt and talking to locals in the know to find theses two.

    1. I'm thinking we're going to get one 20 pounder, and ditch the old ones. I do not want to be hunting for places to refill every time we run out. Still engineering this, as I would have to rebuild the locker for the bigger tank, and I like the low profile we have.

  2. Hiya Paul
    Naw, it was fun to meet you! All the more so as your blog's hilarious!

    BTW we found Sawyer Gas on University is great for filling a re-cert (U-Haul & several other refused to fill our funky tanks). They're M-F 9-5ish kinda place. The first time I went it took forever; the 2nd time I was in and out like greased lightening -- with a re-cert.

    I plan to return there before we take off to get one that some jerk in Ft Lauderdale insisted on making our horizontal vertical reconverted to horizontal so it can return to its strapped in spot in the lazerette below our captain's chair.

    Probably didn't hurt to show up dressed in a dress,,,, Uhhh maybe you want to send your wife out on that one;).

    1. Hahaha, yea I don't have the legs for a dress.

      The place with the surprised woman was actually Sawyer Gas out at the beaches. They were filling my tanks, but they recently shut down filling there, and I was forced to go to University, where they told me a definite "No!", even though I had a copy of the exemption. They're not as flexible as they once were. It will be interesting to see if you get yours filled.
      If we have to buy new tanks we are not going with small aluminum. They are just too expensive. Maybe a steel 20# horizontal, and some Rustoleum.

      It was nice meeting you as well. Wish I wasn't so out of it that day. Love the blog!