Heading back to the States to join Marcie, I knew I'd be leaving Nine of Cups on her own for a few months, and just like leaving a house for vacation, there were a lot of things that had to be done to button her up before leaving.
I had a long checklist, and I spent the day and a half before departure taking care of what could be done ahead of time. The list included things like flushing the outboard engine and draining the fuel, decanting the diesel fuel from the on-deck jerry cans into the main tanks, doubling the dock lines, securing everything on deck, disconnecting the shore power, and a whole host of other chores.
The solar panels will keep the batteries topped up, and the solar power regulator will keep the batteries from being overcharged. The wind generator was shut down and tied off. Friends in the marina were given our contact information and will be keeping an eye on Cups while we're gone.
There were a number of items that had to wait until just before leaving. Since I was departing for the airport at 4:30 in the morning, I got up at 3AM to take care of last minute things like turning off the propane tanks, closing the remaining thru hulls, and turning off circuit breakers.
One task that had to wait until the last minute was pickling the sink drains and head. The sinks drain directly overboard and once the thru hull valves are closed, stagnant seawater sits in the hose between the sink and the thru hull. Likewise, the head is flushed with seawater. If the seawater is allowed to sit for a few days in these hoses and the toilet and its pump, they will all begin to smell like low tide on a mud flat. After a few months, all kinds of interesting sea life will be growing in them. To prevent this, I flush the head with a freshwater/bleach mixture, and put a little bleach into each sink drain.
After all the hammering, sawing and epoxying I've been doing to her innards over the last few weeks, perhaps Nine of Cups was looking forward to a little alone time, but I think she looked a little forlorn as I walked away in the early morning on my way to the airport to head to the U.S.
If you are interested in getting a copy of our decommissioning list, send an email and we will happily send it along.