Armed with hammers and screwdrivers the group gathered on an isolated rocky cove.
‘They’re everywhere’ announced Glenn, tossing his rusty but no doubt trusty hammer from hand to hand.
And he was right – second glance at the nearby sea-weathered rocks confirmed that we were literally surrounded by big and by all reports, very juicy black-lip oysters. And so-to work we went, if you could call it that! Perhaps the first couple of attempts were less than glamorous but soon enough all my partners in adventure were helping themselves to the plumpest and freshest oysters that you could ever hope for! “Make sure you keep some for the chefs” was Glenn’s timely reminder but his encouragement fell on deaf ears when Marese appeared with a platter of freshly cut lemon slices! “We’ll wash the rest down with some chilled champagne” was her much-more enthusiastically received instruction.
I was indulging in yet another immersive experience on the mighty TRUE NORTH!
Others sail past but we were on a 13-night mission to leave no stone, or more correctly, no rock; unturned.
It really is the adventure-cruise difference. There are never any extended periods of time at sea on the TRUE NORTH – every day is packed with activities that only the ‘locals’ know how to pull together!
And this is when the TRUE NORTH’s flagship Kimberley Ultimate really comes into its own.
There’s more time for everything on the Ultimate – more time for exploring, more time for fishing and mud-crabbing, more time for sunset drinks on the beach, for breathtaking heli-flights, for thought provoking rock art and discovering natural history, for invigorating bush walks…….more time for seeing and doing all the things that you only get to see and do on the TRUE NORTH.
Oyster from its Crusty Shell
But that doesn’t mean that you get to sleep-in!
Our oyster-hunt began at the crack of dawn when the ship’s guides headed off to find the perfect spot – where the falling tide had only freshly exposed our quarry. And then with one last slurp of breakfast coffee the guests were away as well. Not everyone had opted for ‘oystering’ but it was clearly a popular way to start the day as two of the TRUE NORTH’s largest adventure boats had been assigned to the activity.
With just a hammer and screwdriver, Glenn, one of the ship’s enthusiastic guides, demonstrated how to remove the oyster from its crusty shell. Just a gentle tap or two was all that was required, and often the delicacy slid easily into your hand.
But sometimes it took a few goes to get it right – the angle of the screw driver had to be just right to ensure that the shell opened cleanly. Sometimes an oyster was levered off the rock in-tact, leaving the shell slammed shut with the delectable morsel still hidden inside. Perplexed guests would call for Glenn’s assistance and without much ado he would skilfully wedge the oyster between two rocks before prying open the reluctant shell – it’s easy when you know how!
The buckets began to fill, and only the occasional squeal of delight competed with the sound of oyster chiselling.
It was easy when you knew how.
Sea-Weathered Rocks Oyster
And while everyone was busy honing their technique, Marese replenished her rock table platter.
Another slice of lemon generously-squeezed and this time all was washed-down with ice-bucket champagne. What a way to start the day – any day!
“Oystering is one of my favourite activities” declared Marese. Not a bad recommendation from someone who has done it all!
As the tide receded, so did we. A short ride back to the TRUE NORTH to replenish our water bottles before heading-off for the next activity.
Oyster have always been a favourite on the TRUE NORTH.
Not surprising when you’re in the Hawksbury River which is world-famous for its Sydney rock oysters.
Nor when in the sparkling waters of the Eyre Peninsular – home to the more-recently revered Coffin Bay oyster.
But perhaps a most-pleasant surprise in the far-flung reaches of the Kimberley. But then no matter where you are on the TRUE NORTH – the world really is your oyster.