Written on a finger nail
Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail. In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, ~ Henry David Thoreau
Easy to say, difficult to do. This plan will be competing with other projects I have on the go, which is why my preference is for one I can stretch, shrink or reshape depending on circumstances. Keeping it simple makes sense. A few clear waypoints might support my dead reckoning capabilities. Tasmania is both hefty and plump as islands go but the shorelines can be toothy. The coastline is broken by estuaries, large bays and drowned river valleys. Is it feasible to walk beaches, and rock hop around the island? I doubt it. It would not take long before a cliff would call a halt, or private land deny the way. And what makes a beach anyway? How big must a patch of sand be before it can be adorned with the title of cove or beach? How do you manoeuvre between beaches when topography, vegetation or private ownership block you? Is this project about Sand or Shore? Beaches or coastlines? I decided I would start by exploring in little stages, not necessarily orderly. I’d allow for impulse and serendipity, backtracking and leaps forward, short strides out and longer meanders, walks, paddles, bike rides or sails of an hour or two or weekends and longer away. I’m wondering if my motivation will fade as barriers present themselves and how I’ll manage flagging energy or competing interests. I met a friend for lunch. She brought enthusiasm and beach pamphlets, and we discussed joint ‘expeditions.’ Then, as I had breakfast one April morning with the geologist, he suggested we start at Opossum Bay. Theoretically, this is still in the river’s estuary but it is also on the cusp of Storm Bay and clearly with no precise mark in the sand as to where to begin it was going to be fairly arbitrary. ‘Let’s do it today,’ I said. And just like that we did.