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Thursday, 18 August 2016

The great turtle expedition.


As of yesterday Americans have taken over number two spot from the British as readers of this blog. Welcome aboard guys.

We had a lazy tourist day today, just tootling around Exmouth on the bikes and checking out the local history.

First stop was Vlaming Head Lighthouse.

It's a lighthouse, and it's on Vlaming Head.
Creative name eh? 

You can read the full story here:

Artsy anchor shot.

From the lighthouse lookout we had a good view of the radio towers at the Harold E. Holt Naval Communication Station. It's pretty impressive when you can see the sheer size of this construction.

It's really difficult to take a good (amateur) photo of the towers, but this will give you an idea of the scale of them.

The odd couple at rest with the towers in the background.

Looking at the positioning of the Harley's panniers compared to mine, I reckon I could easily make mine six inches deeper, and carry even more stuff.

The Vlaming Head Lighthouse was built as a result of the sinking of the SS Mildura in 1907. She was on her way to Fremantle and hit a reef very close to here, which sent her to the bottom.

This is all that's left of the SS Mildura today.

A bit of bow and stern, and the boilers.

Now I'm a bit of an animal lover so the next stop was what today was all about for me. Turtles. We were off to a beach where Dave had told us you could hardly walk for all the turtles that were there. I couldn't wait. Let's go!

Incidentally, Dave told us a turtle story last night. Apparently he and a mate went to the beach one day and a woman told them that there was a turtle stuck in the rocks. Dave and mate made a bee line to said turtle to see if they could help. Now, to make this story more amazing you have to know that a mature female turtle is about a meter and a half long and can weigh over 300 kilograms. Yes, 300 kilograms, that's only a bit less than Andrew's Harley.

Dave and mate found the turtle. She'd been there a while, was dehydrated, and in pretty poor shape with a flipper stuck between some rocks. The guys tried to move her, but couldn't budge her. She was just too heavy for them. In a light bulb moment Dave bolted back to the car park and liberated a star picket, that ironically had a sign about turtles on it, and a couple of tie down straps from his vehicle. Back to the turtle with the star picket rescue kit. Now we have a very large turtle, with a star picket strapped to it's back (or is that top?) with a couple of tie downs. All that was left to do was lift the old girl up and carry her back to the water. Easy.

The boys struggled because she was so heavy, but they got the star picket up onto their shoulders, then lifted her. Dave said as they were walking the star picket was flexing up and down with each step. All I could see in my mind was the old cannibal movies where they carry their victims to the cooking pot on a long pole. After what must have been a mammoth effort they got down to the water to free her.

The problem was she was exhausted and couldn't swim without help. If they left her, she would drown. So what did they do? Well. let's just say they had turtle soup that night. No, just kidding. The boys spent 45 minutes in the water helping the girl out and floating her until she was OK to go. Eventually she was able to swim by herself and happily swam off into the Indian Ocean.

It was Mrs turtle's lucky day.

I told you Dave was a good bloke. Well done mate.

For more true, trusted, and technical turtle, tales visit: 

So now it was my turn to see turtles, or should that be sea turtles?

What I wanted to see.

What I saw. Turtle tracks maybe?

After visiting three different parts of the beach (and me nearly getting the Guzzi bogged again) we didn't see a single solitary turtle. I reckon Dave was sitting somewhere laughing his head off.

There were a few of these around.
I don't know what they are, Maybe shelters fishermen throw a tarp over and use at night?

Another beach shot.

Not a turtle in sight.

As we headed home from our failed turtle expedition I stopped to take a couple of photos at the naval base.

You think they's have spent a bit extra and put a whole submarine there wouldn't you.

This sign caught my eye.

I'm now kicking myself for not going down this path for a look see for some Dingoes.

It was now mid afternoon and after stopping at the local supermarket for supplies it was time to head home. We needed to pack up and prepare for tomorrow's 650 kilometer ride to Tom Price. It's not a big day, but we like to be on the road early and have time up our sleeves in case we encounter any problems, or find somewhere wort exploring.

On the road by seven?

Local pub sign.

As if we need any encouragement.

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