Without doubt the Kimberley region is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Few people get to see it from the Indian Ocean ... even fewer from the comforts of the True North in the company of such amazing staff. This was a holiday that was much more - an education, a revelation, a privilege and - an opportunity to engage with unbelievably professional staff and wonderfully interesting fellow travellers.
There aren't too many places left which truly feel untouched ... with no footprints, where one does not want to leave a trace. Cathedral rocks, freshwater pools, mangrove mazes and pitch black catacombs welcomed us just as they did the amazing artists who mysteriously painted the ancient rock art into the landscape tens of thousands of years ago.
Jo-Lee at the bar remembered everyone's favorite drinks, Tegan as cruise co-ordinator was fantastic in ensuring our specific needs were attended to always, Pete Hall (hallie) taught me more about catching Barra in 10 mins than I'd ever learnt in my whole life. Mick taught me how to throw a cast net in one easy lesson and Nat gave me the confidence to hold a slithering snake without fear. Georgia impressed everyone with her magnificent hand drawn graphics and Sean and Kei were brilliant tender skippers. My first hand picked/fresh shucked oyster was delicious and the experience of pulling mud crabs in the mangroves was awesome. Ben the skipper was magnificent in allowing the whales (5 humpbacks) to sidle right up to the True North (I'm talking 5 metres away) ... they came to us.
The ship itself had 6 tenders .. aluminium dinghys for excursions - giving a level of comfort and safety (in crocodile waters) not afforded from a blow up zodiac type. I would personally not like to be sitting on the gunnel of a zodiac in the Kimberely.
Evenings on board consisted of the evening meal (chef addresses each table) ... a run down of the days activities and what's on tomorrow... followed by drinks at the bar, usually recorded music (although with 2 house guitars on board we were lucky enough to have a couple of musos play live on a couple of nights). The crew organised a fun quiz night and also a dress up party night for everyone ... both great fun.
I cannot speak highly enough of every aspect of our time on the True North. Much more than just a holiday ... my wife calls it a spiritual experience.
Our footprints may have washed away ... however we carry memories to last a lifetime. The bonus for me? ... I was inspired to finish writing a song I'd been working on for some time.
Thank you True North.
Plenty of cabin space. 2 very comfortable single beds, Hollywood shower, gr8 en suite, excellent cleaning prep service, lots of storage. Two adequate but smallish portholes - I guess that is the price one pays for not booking the more expensive upstairs rooms. The max capacity for the True North is 36 paying customers plus staff ... so there is always some background cabin noise (generators etc) - but it was not obtrusive and we did not find it disturbing or unpleasant.