Barbara Jeffrey reviews her recent One Tide Charters cruise adventure.
We did the 12 day cruise from Derby. We cruised through all of the rivers and Camp Creek, and went on to the Prince Regent River and the King Cascade, before heading back to Derby via the Horizontal Falls.
I'd looked at all the luxury cruises, the helicopter rides and the champagne sunsets and that's not how we like to travel. For us, One Tide was the best cruise because it had on shore camping and fishing. It sounded like a much more adventurous experience.
I enjoyed sleeping at night in the little domes and laying awake and watching the sun come up in the morning. Another time I saw a big meteorite explode in the sky. It was laid back. We more or less decided what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go, and if we wanted to fish, Greg would organise that. If we wanted to ride in the dingy, we'd ride around in the dingy. We hiked up to waterfalls and we had lots of swims in the fresh water and everything about it was perfect for me.
I really enjoyed the hike up to the Camp Creek Waterfalls for the swim there. That required a bit of effort and it was terrific. I also really just liked sitting on the boat watching the world go past.
In terms of favourite places, I think the Horizontal Waterfalls and Crocodile Creek were a stand out. I also loved the little beaches that we camped on, the Rat Point camp is just beautiful. I also enjoyed the aboriginal rock art that we saw, which is something that I was interested in.
Greg made us laugh a lot. I enjoyed sitting around the top deck of the boat and just listening to him recount his stories. He was so funny - laconic is the word I'd use.
I loved just being out in the open and under the stars and having campfires. You don't do things like that if you're on the luxury boats, you never get to have a campfire.
I enjoyed the people on board the boat - because it was the type of trip it was, the people were all like minded. There was nobody there that expected luxury. We were all the sort of people that liked to rough it a little bit. Having said that, the swags were surprisingly comfortable, I must admit. When I first unrolled the swag, I thought, how on earth am I going to sleep in that? The first night I just dropped in it and went straight to sleep.
I hadn't slept out of doors in a swag like that for years and years. That was wonderful, just being out in the open, yarning around the campfires and seeing beautiful scenery up there. It's the type of cruise for people who don't want to sit back in the lap of luxury. They'd prefer to actually experience the Kimberly at it's best. I'd certainly recommend it.
Phil Peet ran his own luxury cruise boat in the Kimberley for many years. Since selling his business he has been out on the One Tide cruise. In this interview he reflects on how the One Tide cruise is different from the other cruise offerings.
I was a cruise operator up here in the Kimberley for quite a while. I sold my business a few years ago now, so I'm familiar with the whole cruise set up. I’ve known One Tide skipper Greg for years. On my cruise we used to basically have Day 1 to Day 14 planned out. We'd be going from one destination to another. You knew exactly where you would be at any time on any given day. I've been out with Greg on One Tide and his approach is very different.
The One Tide Cruise experience is unique. Greg's cruise is a little bit more spontaneous than what the others offer. Greg factors in the conditions and the weather, and what the tides are doing, what sort of passengers he's got on board and what they might prefer to do. He then determines what he's going to do with each of his charters, so no two are exactly the same. A lot of other charters don't have the flexibility to do that. Greg has a broader experience and that allows him to mix it up a bit more.
I really enjoy his humour. He's an extremely funny and very knowledgeable guy. He's got a lot of history up there. He's a real bush character.
The cruise is suited to people with an adventurous spirit. People who want to give things a go. It suited to people with a good sense of humour who want something unique and very different. Greg's passengers really get to participate more in life on the boat and everything that goes with it. Nothing is hidden. They get to see everything that goes on. It’s definitely a lot more of a social experience. I think the passengers go away knowing each other very well.
I guess they learn what they don't need and what their true connections are all about. I think Greg's got this way that awakens the senses for people. I think even the sunlight revitalises them. I think we all get stuck in a bit of a mould these days where, you can't be without the air conditioner on or whatever the case might be. We are not prepared to push ourselves on a big walk or climb a cliff face to get to a waterfall. Greg does all those sort of things and he encourages people to do them, to push themselves a bit and get the reward at the end. The cruise attracts a lot of older people, and they get a pleasant surprise. They might have thought "I thought those days were beyond me" or "past me" and they find out differently from Greg. He is quite a caring sort of personality and he wants to do the right thing by his guests. He wants them to have fun. He openly wants to enjoy himself as well, and I think that comes across. It is a good fun experience."