Lunch Cruise on True North
We are blessed in Western Australia (WA) with many natural geographical and culinary gifts and, on this beautiful summer’s day, we combined them into a truly exceptional event thanks to the generosity of the owner, Craig Howson, of True North, a magnificent adventure ship that usually caters for thirty-six guests with twenty-two crew.
Forty-four Chaine members and guests gathered at lunchtime in the port of Fremantle on the vast Indian Ocean, the home of the first Americas Cup win, yachting’s premier prize, outside the US in 1983, and the home port of our vessel for the day, True North. The skies were blue, the ocean was even bluer, the attentive crew fabulous and the seafood offered exquisite.
Our cruise lasted almost three hours down the magnificent coast of WA at a comfortable 14 knots with the Bailliage’s flags flying proudly from the bow.
True North sails around Australia once a year and returns to her home port annually. From March to January she sets sail exploring our remote Kimberley areas in North West Australia and then on to exciting adventures visiting remote Indonesian and Papua New Guinea waters and islands. From our lunch and cruise experience, it was easy to understand why True North has earned the reputation it has.
Bailli Thurston Saulsman greeted everyone and introduced the two Craig’s, Craig Howson, owner of our spectacular 50 metre vessel and who was awarded the Order of Australia for services to the Tourism Industry and Craig Brent-White, the owner and winemaker of Cape Naturaliste Vineyards. Craig kindly sponsored our event. We were indeed privileged as Cape Naturaliste wines have won many National and International Competitions. The 2009 Cabernet Merlot was voted the best single vineyard wine in the world in 2011 at the London International Wine Competition.
Once on board, we were served four delectable canapés on the Upper Deck Bar Lounge. These excellent morsels consisted of luscious and sweet natural oysters from Sydney, Shark Bay scallops, samphire sourced corn puree, pearl meat ceviche (the first-time encounter for many) and an Exmouth prawn cocktail with avocado mousse.
Interestingly these were all sourced from ports and regions that True North visits and sails to at least once annually.
Our first Cape Naturaliste wines to accompany the canapés were a light and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc 2018, and their renown Torpedo Rocks Cabernet Sauvignon 2014. Both enhanced the nautical atmosphere magically as we set sail into the deep blue.
We had the opportunity to meet the Captain before enjoying a tour of this beautiful ship. Lunch was then served on the main deck. The Bailli introduced chefs Martina and Gavin who presented the following which turned out to be a superb lunch, and a fish which everybody could not stop raving about!
Exmouth pink snapper True North nicoise salad with native flowers fresh salad selection, bread and dips. Accompanying lunch was a choice of Cape Naturaliste wines specially paired to suit the lunchtime menu: Sauvignon Semillon Blanc 2017 Torpedo Rocks Semillon 2015 Torpedo Rocks Shiraz 2014.
The pink snapper was considered by many to be one of the most delectable, yet relatively simple, fish dishes they have encountered and the wines ideally selected to pair with the meal.
We then returned to the upper deck for an extensive and exceptional selection of Australian cheeses together with a chocolate-lovers treat of chocolate mousse tartlets.
Our ultimate luxury was an accompanying Cape Naturaliste Cane Cut Semillon 2012, which complimented the cheeses and chocolate beautifully.
Craig Brent-White enthralled us with his wonderful story telling of his wine journey and the development of his vineyard. As always Margaret River histories are fascinating, and this was no exception with yet another boutique vineyard in our region achieving world-wide recognition.
For most of the members, the afternoon finished just too quickly, and as we bid our farewells and expressed our thank you, we did so enviously of the adventures True North and her fantastic staff and crew would soon be embarking on.