Whale watching by Versys - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Whale watching by Versys

What else can I do?
I turn 70 in less than 6 weeks; the whales are migrating along the coast; there are 11 ocean lighthouses within 500km (5 north and 5 south, one here); I have a Versys.
So, before I turn 70 I will visit them all on my V650, and sight whales from each one. Why? Why not!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 08:45 PM
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Make sure you post some pics!!!
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2018, 10:19 AM
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Why not indeed. What a great thing to do in honor of reaching 70 years of age. Hope you have a grand time and remember to take your camera with you.

Spoiler alert: once you pass seventy, remembering things becomes more of a challenge - you'll see.

Arion

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2018, 02:51 PM
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Photos & Ride Report Please

You can use this forum Gallery for hosting your photos. I had planned on returning this December , but due to a knee injury I am postponing until 2019. I have a daughter in Monbulk, Victoria . I had planned on buying a used or new Versys , touring Tasmania and doing a ride along the east coast. I was there in 2013 and was in Cairns, Sydney / Newcastle/ Hunter Valley/ Eldon. Melbourne farmers market, did the great ocean road.
Enjoy your ride.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2018, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidH View Post
...So, before I turn 70 I will visit them all on my V650, and sight whales from each one. Why? Why not!
Good on ya!!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Arion View Post
...Spoiler alert: once you pass seventy, remembering things becomes more of a challenge - you'll see.
What...?


Ed
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2018, 05:56 PM
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There are lots of fat chick at the beaches around here. So whale watching can't be helped...
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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2 days done, 1014 km riding, 5 lighthouses, and whales at each sighted. Made sure I sighted multiple whales so I wasnít fooling myself (or you).
Day 1 was from home (Port Macquarie) to Fingal Head, then back to Byron Bay. 534 km, average speed 85 kph. Remember we are metric in Oz, and have speed limits mainly 100kph, with only 110 on main highways. I used some of the off highway roads, as 4 lanes of concrete are dull and donít allow the Versys to shine.
So, 2 lighthouses down.

Fingal Head is the furthest North. A walk of about 150m, and whales sighted within 2 minutes.
Next was Cape Byron. A sort of double visit there. After booking a cabin, walked there at dusk. Then back in the dark. About 3 km each way, and took 85 minutes return, including whale spotting. This is the most easterly lighthouse in Oz, and whales were in close.

Then went back with the bike in the morning for the pic. They wanted $4 to park the bike! Fortunately I had a National Parks Pass, so didnít have to pay.


Day 2 continued with a total of 480 km, but this at a slow average of 68kph. Mainly due to seaside holiday type traffic to start (first 207km at 56kph!!), then about 90km of roadworks at 60 and 80 kph.
First stop was at town of Ballina for the Richmond River Lighthouse. Whales sighted within a couple of minutes. A short ride of about 35km, but taking nearly 45 minutes.


After coffee and cake, then on to Clarence River Lighthouse(s) at Yamba. This had me in the roadworks, so a slow trip. And then a longish 20 minute wait to sight whales. The whales are migrating south again, and it seems the bigger numbers arenít this far south yet.
2 lighthouses here, this one pictured is a recreation of the older style. There is a newer one closer to the water, built in 1955.


From here a longer ride down to Smoky Cape. Again I took some interesting back roads, which included a ferry crossing, and some nice twisties. At one stage scooting along behind a car and trailer for about 80km at 110-115 kph on a 90kph road. He obviously knew the road well and was a good driver.

Home from there, in the dark and chill. Tired and happy. And thinking maybe I need to go to all of the Lighthouses, just because.
Fuel on the first fill was 22 km per litre, or 62.3 mpg. 2nd fill (after the slow traffic) was 25.35 km per litre, or 71.5 mpg.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-31-2018, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Some rattles as I neared home, so into the workshop. Looks like new chain and sprockets, needed. Bike has about 45000 km on it. Going with 15/43 combination.And it is overdue to a service anyway.
Home made throttle locker was useful on the highways.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-01-2018, 02:57 PM
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DavidH - a 'serious' question - as you're an Aussie, do the Aussie whales swim belly-up...?



-
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-02-2018, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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Maybe when mating.? No, no more than our swimmers do. Although a few years ago we saw a mother with calf only a few days old. Mother on her back and calf on her tummy, until it rolled off. That was pretty special.
But we do ride on the left side of the road.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2018, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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OK, update time. Another 2 lighthouse visited today - a couple quite local to home.
Tacking Point, here in Port Macquarie.


Took a little while before sighting whales, but that gave a chance to chat with another rider, and his father who used to have a Vincent HD. They both regret he doesn't still have it.

Then on down the highway to the turnoff, and in to Crowdy Head National Park and the lighthouse there. Not long before whales sighted.




So not a long ride, but this was done this way in preparation for a longer day on Saturday. It will give me less to visit on a longer ride, which will take me south with 4 lighthouses and a planned 500 km day.

GPS had power issues today, so don't have trip details, but an estimated 165 km. The way down was all bitumen, but on the way back took some good gravel roads for about 20 km
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Last edited by DavidH; 09-17-2018 at 11:59 PM.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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OK, now all done and dusted. Finished it all off yesterday. And with nearly 2 weeks to spare (before my 70th)

Saturday, left at about 6.45am, for the ride south to Seal Rocks, and the Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse. The air temp became more pleasant from about 8am. Highway for about 90km (throttle locker helped), then slower local roads but some nice twisties along some lakes.

Parked, and walked about 1km to the lighthouse. Unfortunately no signs to photograph the bike near(at any of the 4 on this trip).







Whales seen soon after getting up there. A steep climb up and worth it. Chatted to a couple from Newcastle (see later) who told me the lighthouse at Nobbys Head was only open on Sundays. So I thought I may need to review that.

Then a lovely twisty road out to the highway - the day was already worth it for those.

Stopped at a favourite coffee shop/bakery, and refuelled the bike a bit later, before arriving at Nobbys Beach in Newcastle. Walked out to the lighthouse track, and sure enough it was locked up - and no clear way to get around. So, as I needed to come back this way on Sunday, that would work.

On then through suburbs and coastal towns - mainly retirees along the coast, so some slower drivers. But good roads along lakes and estuaries to Norah Head. I was already sighting whales as I walked about 200m to the lighthouse.





Time was marching on, and had a longer leg to the next and final lighthouse of the 11. So back out to the highway and throttle locker activated for the next 70k or so, heading into the big city of Sydney. And about 40km in suburbs and traffic.

Barrenjoey headland is at the end of a spit heading north of Sydney Harbour, so I was really backtracking towards home.
This is the older of the lighthouses (1881) and the only one in natural sandstone. Again a hike of about 1.5km, up a steep track. So I certainly had my exercise for the day.








Light was fading, but still enough to see a couple of whales.

From there, a trip across the northern suburbs, basically where I had already been, to an overnight stay. My wife (Jenny, Honda 125e) had been at a Toastmasters training day, and had accommodation there. That was handy!!

I was tired, after 511km of mixed riding. Just on 7 hours riding time, average about 71kph. Refuel was at 22km per litre.
Dinner at a local pub, and sleep.

Sunday, up for breakfast. A couple of good deeds for others down here, then on the road back to Newcastle and Nobbys Head. Where we were staying was on the old Pacific Highway, and gave me a great ride along the old winding and hilly highway. A very popular bike road.


Followed it all the way through, and arrived at Nobbys. Jenny was driving back, and after a later start and the main highway was about 30 minutes behind. So I headed up to the top. This was, way back, and island some 43 metres (140 feet) tall. But when Newcastle was a convict settlement, coal was found there. So it was mined and reduced to the present 27.5 metres (90 feet). And some of the rock was used to build the breakwall. The lighthouse is the oldest, built in 1854.


Notice the gun emplacement under it. Newcastle is a major port and during WW2 was considered a likely target.

Whales were already sighted by the time Jenny arrived, and she took a couple of photos for me.




So, all done. 11 lighthouses, whales at each, all by Versys, and before my 70th birthday. Tick

A late lunch and then a highway ride home. The last 80km in the dark, on a road known to have plenty of wildlife about. So eyes a bit strained. The trip back was 398km. The refuelling on this showed 25km per litre, no doubt due to less throttle use in twisties and coastal towns.

I will see if I can add a route map, especially for this leg as it had some terrific roads
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 02:54 AM Thread Starter
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https://www.google.com.au/maps/dir/P...33.5801498!3e0

The route for Saturday

Last edited by DavidH; 09-24-2018 at 03:01 AM. Reason: update.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 03:09 AM
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Wishing your all the best and safe ride. Thanks for sharing the ride.
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