Rob & Frances Lythgoe
Mon 8 Feb 2016 03:52
We needed to head for a pre-arranged marina as we had organised for a few bits and pieces to be delivered there. We needed to change our boats gas supply from Butane to Propane, replace our radar, and we wanted to get some of the stitching re-done on some of the outside canvas work as the UV had rotted some of it.
The lady at the marina with the sewing machine was great, but getting someone to install a propane regulator was a nightmare. Propane is the only gas available in the US so is only available with imperial fittings. Our boat was built in France so is all metric. The main problem is that as soon as you mention 'metric' to an American, (Puerto Rico is some sort of US State that I still don't understand fully, because it isn't) they go all cold and sweaty like its a plot to overthrow their hard won independence. It is inevitable that the USA will one day catch up with the modern world and make the switch, but today we needed to buy a new tape measure and you can't even find one with inches on one edge and metric on the other, so they aren't even getting there slowly, for free. It costs nothing, why on earth do Stanley make one tape measure for the USA in just imperial and another one for the rest of the world with both? Couldn't the Americans just ignore the edge they didn't want to use but subconsciously be learning about the bleeding obvious?
In the end I did it myself by finding out that the external dimension of an 8mm copper pipe is a perfect for the internal diameter of a 3/8" copper pipe, and the rest was easy. It took a while to get that point though! So we have jettisoned our old butane cylinders and got our new butane ones up and running. 'Cooking on gas' as they say. These should be good as far as New Zealand where we are told they wont fill them, because the material they are made of is only safe to use in countries whose name is not made up of two words, the first starting with an 'N' and the second with a 'Z'. Good job there's only one of those then. We will cross that bridge when we get there and I'm not sure if I want them to be in imperial or metric, I'll need to think about that.
We have been in Puerto Rico for a week now and have also spent a day in Old San Juan which was very interesting, visited the rain forest, which was equally interesting, except that for some reason we hadn't expected it to rain whilst we were there. Doh! Not a problem though, it was again warm rain and soon evaporated, it wasn't that fine rain that wets you through like you get in Bolton.