Safety Beach Bay Trail
The Safety Beach Bay Trail is approximately 3.5km long, and links the Dromana foreshore with the cliffs overlooking Safety Beach at the Martha Cove Marina. To mark this shared track's completion recently, 11 poetry pillars have been installed at intervals with short 'jingles' about local people, animals, plants, seaside or landscape history relating to Safety Beach. The pillar with jingle no.1 is situated at the southern end of the Bay Trail adjacent to Marine Drive, opposite the Nepean Highway junction. When walkers look out for human-scale pillars on the left (port) or right (starboard) sides of the Bay Trail, they can read all 11 jingles in numerical order, placed at intervals of 200-300 metres to the north of jingle no. 1. The final pillar is jingle no. 11, which is situated on the north side of the Martha Cove underpass, at the beginning of the Tassells Beach clifftop track leading to Pebble Beach.
It does not matter if walkers start at either end of the Bay Trail, as all pillars are only three metres away from the edge of the pathway, and the jingles face the path.
Gannets flashing from blue sky
at twenty metres up so high
feathered missiles down they fly
to fish below
among the dolphins herding fry,
Five thousand years ago or more
the Bunurong did fish this shore,
then blood-flows from an abattoir
suggest ‘Shark Bay’…
‘Baggamahjarrawah’ long before
the ‘Sheepwash’ way.
Lieutenant Colonel Trevor Watts
soldier, banker, diplomat
strode this shore in stylish hats
At eighty-five his last sabbat
Banksias lean and twist on dunes
as Yellowtail Black Cockatoos
save these trees; ‘Kee-oo kee-oos’
in winter mantle.
An east-west passage in our sky
where pelicans and ibis fly
‘tween Western Port/Mud Island, aye!
to Swan Bay too.
Great vee-lines for the keenest eye;
a travelling zoo!
Offshore channels deep for trading
follow ancient Yarra’s ways;
giant hulks look overladen
thundering in or out.
Silent yachts engaged in sailing
gybe and tack about.
Recycled as this pillar stands
environments are in our hands.
Plastics, glass, paper, cans
refined each day
and fashioned into something planned
to save our Bay.
Our basin east is Kangerong
slung between two granites strong,
with crescent beaches all along
Sweeter creeks and billabongs
once fed the briny.
Safety Beach was named by Aitken
when his sheep, from Tassie taking,
almost drown; aground and quaking
in the brig ‘Chili’.
Some Kooris saved his sheep from drowning
U.S. Marines in boats and crew
practised here in ‘forty-two
following a battle true -
A turning point would soon ensue -
and thousands fall.
Mt Martha cliffs and darker coves
echo as the morning moves
and pinkish granite walls enclose
a pebble beach.
Rock pools call boys in wet clothes