‘Grey Pearl’…May she rest in peace…

It is with such a heavy heart that I write this last and final blog of the good ship Grey Pearl.

Early in December, while we were spending the winter at our home in Virginia away from our boat, we received one of life’s dreaded phone calls. Our beloved ‘Grey Pearl’ N6208 was on fire in her slip at Yacht Haven Marina in Phuket, Thailand. The fire started in the early evening of Dec. 6th, 2011, and was detected shortly thereafter. The fire quickly became uncontrollable and threatened the marina and other boats. The marina staff and some brave yachtsmen scrambled to remove her from the slip, tow her up a nearby river and run her aground where she continued to burn for almost another day. Needless to say we are devastated by this horrible tragedy.

In order to tend to this matter and our responsibilities, Braun & I immediately flew from our home in Virginia to Thailand.

Of course, the hardest and saddest moment was to see her…it is impossible to describe the heartbreak. To see the pilothouse wheel resting on the charred Lugger main engine…we were overcome. The raging fire had consumed her down to the water line. To put her to rest, we had a “viewing” on a Thursday…and her “burial” with flowers and a final good by on Friday.

Although heartbroken, we do understand how lucky we are…no one was injured! And the damage would have been more catastrophic if not for the brave souls that worked quickly to get the boat out of the slip and thereby save the surrounding yachts and dock.

We’ve had 11 ½ years of absolutely wonderful experiences on the Pearl…and happily, we’ve been able to share that on board passion with so many friends & family. Often we’d sit on our aft “Lido” deck and reminisce about where she’s taken us…Gibraltar, Jounieh, Lebanon, Jementos, Bahamas, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, Elba, Italy, Hong Kong, Barcelona, Aleutian Islands, Panama Canal, Haifa, Israel, Rome, Petropavlovsk, Russia, Bar Harbor, Me., Singapore, Athens…to name just a few.

I personally have never been more challenged, fulfilled and happier doing anything in my life than the time I’ve spent on my ‘Grey Pearl’. And…more importantly, she was a passion Braun & I enjoyed together. She will live on fondly in our hearts & memories…forever ~

We are still “processing” this calamity so it’s way too soon to say what our future plans will be…but there will be an Act II. The fun is not going to stop.

We’re OK…and, we have the love of family & friends we can count on to get through this painful time…

A special thanks to our dear friends, Carol & Steven Argosy on our buddy boat N62 ‘Seabird’. They remain in Phuket and we deeply regret having to temporarily leave the “Bird and Pearl” cruising team.

Sadly…Grey Pearl…Out –

Tina & Braun

15 thoughts on “‘Grey Pearl’…May she rest in peace…”

  1. I am so terribly sorry to hear this sad news.
    The next episode will be better! At least nobody was lost or injured.

  2. Our hearts are with you both. Hopefully GP can live on reincarnated. RIP, Grey Pearl. And thank you, Tina, for all of your wonderful blogs over the years. They have been a pleasure for my wife and me. Hopefully, you can begin again soon with a new adventure.

  3. That is dreadfully sad – like losing a dear friend. We wish you well and look forward to following your “new” adventures in the future. We’ve loved following your travels.

  4. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. It was a fine boat and I can only imagine how you must feel. I hope you find a replacement and continue your wonderful adventures soon. I think I see a new 63 in my crystal ball!

  5. Rob, Yachtmaster, offshore, commercial, (power)

    Dear Tina and Braun, Im so very sad to hear the news that every sailor dreads. Both yourselves and “The Pearl” have brought me great pleasure (and many others) in the past, just by reading about your experiences. Long may it continue, ood luck for the future and please (as much as you can with the sadness and uncertanties hanging over you) have a great Christmas.

    Kindest regards

    and thanks for all your efforts with the blog etc,


  6. Lynette King Gittis

    Dear Tina & Braun ~

    so sorry to read this news ~
    your amazing joyous adventures will live in our hearts ~
    the beautiful Grey Pearl ~

    sending love, Merry Christmas

  7. Raoul Harvey QLD Australia.

    Tina,Braun,You have both inspired so many with your journey on Grey Pearl and I know your adventure will continue.Thank You both and may your God stay with you. Raoul.

  8. Frank and Pam Coggins "Reunion" N4066

    Dear Tina and Braun,

    It is with a sad heart I write to express our own condolences and while the event is now overwhelming, know you both, along with Sea Bird and Sans Souci, inspired so many of us to not only live vicariously through your great travels and experiences, but to purchase our own Nordhavn’s and start our own planning to see the sights you described so well. As you noted the adventure will not end, and as ours begins, words are inadequate to express our feelings for your loss. It is hoped we are fortunate enough to have our paths cross in a marina in the future.

  9. SUBJECT: Re: ‘Grey Pearl’…May she rest in peace…

    Dear Tina and Braun,

    I am one of the silent readers of your blog who has followed you and and the other two Nordhavns for years. I too grieve with you for your loss.
    May God bless you both and comfort you during this transition.

    Sincerely, Farley Shane

  10. So So Sorry to hear about your Grey Pearl. I have many wonderful memories of you all on NAR and cherish them. So glad everybody is OK.

  11. I feel like I have to write as I met the Grey Pearl when I lived at Jupiter Yacht Club, Jupiter, Florida. I fell in love with her and would walk my dogs by her every day she was there. I’d touch the anchor and tell her to “return to us safely” and one time, during a maintenance check up, I got to go aboard and see how great she really was…..
    The Grey Peal left and I moved but stayed in touch with Chris Smith the dockmaster and always asked if the Grey Peal had returned.
    I just read Chris’ email about the fire and I’m sitting at my computer with tears streaming down my face…..so sad over what has happened. To learn about her was a dream and then to find out today about the fire, I feel like I’ve lost something so precious to me. I was not familiar with the Nordhavn trollers till I saw her and from that time I had to find out more. I am so very sorry for your loss; I can’t get it out of my mind as I know you can’t either. Cherish your wonderful memories few get to have; maybe put them into a book we can read about later. Again, I am very sorry for your loss. You don’t really know me but I knew the Grey Pearl when in JYC.

  12. Jennifer and Mark Ullmann

    We are so saddened to heard the horrible news of your beloved friend. My husband Mark just told me the awful news and I am stunned. I can only imagine the pain you are feeling. Thankfully you have a lot of good memories and life goes on close to what you are accustom to. Here’s to you for getting back in the saddle as soon as possible. May Santa be extra special to you this year.

    Jennifer and Mark Ullmann
    Nordhavn 46
    Go2See, LLC

  13. Dear Tina & Braun,
    no words can describe the sorrow of seeing a long time beloved partner departing in such a horrible way, seeing our boat completely gone by a fire.
    My sincere condolences-
    I was envious of your marvelous cruises ,with Sans Souci and the others-
    My workoholic life does not give me the chance of following even on a Med tour your example, and my beloved Dutch Doggersbank is now for sale. Its a 18,50 ocean going motor yacht with an auxiliary sail system +2 auxiliary engines and a fuel capacity of2500galons of fuel and 900+ gal of fresh water.
    If you you may be interested please feel free to contact me -Sincerly yours, Enrico Gabbai M.D. – Florence , ITALY

  14. Walt & Tina, Ken said that you were looking for a used N62, which Windflight is currently the only one available. They do have a N63 in production that they are looking for a buyer, which is close to a shipping date. A few selections need to be made, which would make it a little custom to your desires. Since the original buyer backed out, a deal might be offered to the next buyer. Just thought that I’d pass along that information. Good luck and I hope it helps!

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