My fork hovered above the plate like a bomber positioning for a sneak attack. I couldn’t decide what to taste first. Chef Simon Jones’ grilled asparagus with shaved parmesan was healthiest, but the roasted mini-rack of lamb begged to be dipped into the sweet tomato jam. A blackened slab of mahimahi became the tiebreaker, with its spicy Caribbean mayonnaise passing my lips just as Capt. Jeff Ridgeway described the first-ever day of charter aboard the 214-foot Feadship Trident.
“We had just launched in June 2009 and gotten to the Med,” he said. “We’d been there three days, and Feadship was still loading art and furniture on board. Edmiston & Company sent us a three-day charter that was to begin on day four.
“I don’t think we could have worked any harder to move things in, and when the client arrived, the wife said she thought the salon was too cluttered. So we took everything that wasn’t nailed down and moved it out again, into the staff cabin. Then the family wanted a daybed in the skylounge, so we built one from a piece of plywood, a table and a bunch of towels.”
“They liked us from then on,” said Ridgeway, who has commanded 10 Feadships during his career. “They’ve already inquired about another charter next summer.”
Talk about doing whatever it takes to please the client — which, ironically, is the opposite of how Trident was built. The yacht was quietly for sale while under construction at the Royal Van Lent yard, but no buyer was found, said D.J. Kiernan of Feadship Charter Division. “The yard took power of attorney,” Kiernan said, “and interior designer Donald Starkey pretty much did whatever he wanted.”
Starkey’s vision included extensive use of exotic wood and stone to create a décor that, to my eye, is “modern masculine.” The elevator, for instance, is encased in brushed travertine marble that creates a formidable presence as opposed to, say, the delicate look of backlit glass. In the guest heads, glass tiles are arranged as mosaics in colors such as blood orange and tanned leather — a far cry from neutrals or feminine pastels.
My two favorite details aboard Trident are on the main deck. Forward is a private office with three large, oval windows for substantial light, Shoji screens as a natural dimmer and blackout curtains. A few steps inward is an exceptional cantilevered desk that seems to grow naturally from the sole. No wires are visible from the computer or telephone; all are like hidden roots that emerge from within the base.
It’s hard to beat that desk, but the table in the formal dining room comes close. It seats 14 comfortably on centerline, positioning that is possible because of Trident’s sheer size. Not only will guests enjoy wide passageways behind their chairs (no stewardesses squeezing by to serve), but the layout even leaves room for a bar to port. If you’re early to dinner, you can sit and sip surrounded by tempting galley aromas.
And tempt you they will, if the lunch I enjoyed is any indication. My expectations were high, as they should be for a yacht with a lowest weekly base rate of $450,000 for 12 guests, and Jones proved an impressive chef even at that rarefied level. His food was exquisite, well in keeping with the Michelin star he earned while cooking in London. I most highly recommend his dessert of warm local banana and sticky toffee pudding with English Harbour rum and homemade raisin ice cream.
That dish, like my entire afternoon aboard Trident, was worth savoring. A weeklong charter, I think, would create the memories of a lifetime.
Feadship Charter Division, 954-761-1830; www.feadshipcharter.com