One of the things that makes going to Tasmania for a ride for the weekend interesting is getting the Super Tenere to Tasmania. There’s only one realistic way, the Spirit of Tasmania. So the plan was hatched.
So this morning I was up at 3am to leave at 4am to head south through Sydney. It was a fresh morning, just two layers under the Klim Latitude jacket and with no mucking about I was off the F3, through the M2 and M7 and on the Hume with the first stop for fuel at Marulan.
There I changed glasses from night to day, removed a layer and had a very quick pit stop. Then back on the bike the next stop was Holbrook for a bacon and egg role and coffee. The Super Tenere was just eating up the k’s effortlessly however when I assessed the time I was surprised that I was actually slower on that route than I’d previously ridden on my Harley-Davidson Road King. The only thing I could think of was that the Super Tenere doesn’t have cruise control so I must have spent more time under my normal cruising speed than I’d have liked. Not a problem on a ride like this but a definite issue on a timed IBA ride.
Anyhow, full stomach, full tank, empty bladder it was time to head to Wangaratta for a FarChallange pic and that done back out onto the Hume towards Melbourne. Just before the city I took the Western Ring Road towards Werribee where I had to go 130k’s or so to Buninyong for another FarChallenge pic before heading back into the City and Port Melbourne to board the Spirit of Tasmania.
The afternoon was very hot, not so noticeable when I was moving but caught in city traffic the heat was stifling. I arrived at the Station Pier pretty close to 5.30pm and after about 20 minutes of hanging around was directed onto the boat. They put the bikes on together so I spent some time chatting to other riders about their plans.
I got some rather strange looks when I disclosed that I’d ridden down from Newcastle today, roughly 1250kms,with a couple of detours. I often forget that many riders don’t cover the distances in a day that are quite common for me and other FarRiders. I got even stranger looks when I mentioned I only intended staying in Tassie one night and was heading back to Newcastle on Monday.
It was my first crossing on the Spirit of Tasmania, I opted for a shared 4 berth cabin, no window because it was the same price as a Ocean Recliner and I wanted to have a crack at some sleep so I could hit the island running in the morning.
One of the guys sharing the cabin was an interesting guy who was working protecting koalas at Warnambool and was part of a team looking for the “reportedly” extinct Thylecene. After dinner and a couple of drinks it was time to sleep, earplugs in. Thankfully it was a smooth crossing and while not a great night’s sleep I’m sure I did better than I would have in a chair and at least I got a shower.