Derwent River: Tinderbox Beaches: Zawns and Sea Caves
Walking on Sunshine and Fat Boy Splashes
Leaning into the Vertical along the Tinderbox Shoreline
This Tinderbox shoreline is another where the cartographers have pretty much mooched on by, leaving others to fill in the blanks. But it would seem that many locals, spending their time on the clifftops only, are ignorant of the particular beauty of zawns and arête, cobbled beaches, sea caves and the communities living below the water.
Down on the reefs it’s a multicultural world. There are green and snakeskin chitons, common beaked and flea mussels, tall-ribbed and scaly limpets, chequered, ribbed and tessellated top-shells, common shelf-limpets, banded austral winks, lined whelks and common cartrut-shells… and there are the refugees that jumped ship and found a rock to cling to, escaping the polluted bilge water of their vessel of choice – the mediterranean mussel and pacific oyster may have arrived this way. (Grove, de Little).
These fantastical names and molluscs could arguably be equaled by the climbers who have transported a love of a particular sort of coastal climbing (deep water soloing) from the Cornwall and Devon coastlines to Tasmania and who have applied colourful names to the vertical routes that they alone can see and cling to. Pinnacle zawn has climbs called Fatman’s Splash and Fatboy’s Swim, Walking on Sunshine and Danni’s Pants. Climbers’ fingers and toes have found cracks in the chimneys and buttresses, they know the arête and sea caves and they’ve swum or kayaked across gulches to reach their next challenge.
This coast is loved by jumpers too. The young and the reckless risk broken backs, head injuries and death, doing backflips off Soldier’s Rocks and leaping off the Cemetery at the Blowhole (see Blackmans Bay Beach).
Lacking this intimate geography of place, no boulders known to me, I checked my chart, I peered at my maps, took a spin on Google Earth, then set off in search of hidden beaches. Top of my list was Fishermans Haul or Fisho’s and I thought I knew exactly where I could find it.