Sunday, March 25, 2007

Semakau Seagrass Transect

Though there were dark clouds at first and it was further confirmed by the weather forecast that it will rain, thank God that soon after the weather was perfect! :)

Today we also have Len and Rudi from Australia and Choo from Malaysia. We set off from Marina South pier though Wee Lian reported at West Coast pier instead. Good thing Shufen is going there through that pier thus they can meet us at Semakau. The ferry was comfortable and speedy! Reached with 20 plus mins.

The place is really huge, can't cover even half in a day. Had a great time there. We even had the NEA bus taking us around the island to the southern most point and also the landfill places.

Ron- the official Semakau Guide

Colonial Tunicate (id from Dickson)

Full of sponges!

Noble volute (Cymbiola nobilis) laying eggs

Favid coral (Favia sp.)

Polka-dotted nudibranch (Jorunna funebris)

Was too close the reef edge... haha. It's total deep after that.

Sunflower mushroom coral (Heliofungia actiniformis)

Upside-down jellyfish (Cassiopea sp.) being turned over by us

Long tentacled carpet anemone (Order Actinaria). Ron, Helen and I were trying to find the nemo inside after Ron and Helen saw its tail for a second. Apparently, I missed it... yes again and again. Didn't even have to chance to see its tail.

Sponge (Phylum Porifera)

Sea urchin (Diadema setosum)

Sea cucumber

Background is the city! The 3 drain holes will be closed once this cell has to be activated for landfill dumping soon in the future. Shark was spotted along the breakwaters but I missed it!

Southernmost tip

Where your rubbish goes...

A trip to P. Semakau doesn't mean we'll just see one island. Here's a quick tour of other 10 islands along the way taken with zoom from my camera while trying to identify from Semakau or from the ferry ride. Most descriptions to the islands were taken from this link.

Pulau Biola or Violin island. A dive spot where waters can be very rough, with big waves and strong current. But expect better marine life than you can find elsewhere off Singapore. This is next to Raffles Lighthouse.

Pulau Bukom. The island, originally a mangrove swamp, was also a source of fresh water for ships. The island is currently the site of the Shell refinery. Shell association with the island dates back to 1891, when the company used the island to store kerosene. What you are looking now at the photo is the residential area with even a swimming pool for the staffs.

Pulau Hantu. Pulau Hantu is one of the most dived area in Singapore. Due to the great number of divers at this site, the coral reef has been damaged. However, due to its good conditions for a dive site, many divers still come here to dive. Unfortunately, recently, a new diver was found died. This island is sometimes grouped with Pulau Brani as Ghost Island.

Pulau Jong. According to a local story, a Chinese junk was attacked by Malay pirates one night when the island now is. Just as the pirates were about to board the junk, the captain awoke, and uttered such a frightful yell that the sea spirit turned the whole junk into an island. This beautiful island is the cover of Singapore's splendour, life on the edge by Dr Chua. Oh yah, he also came along today.

Pulau Sakijang Bendera,St John's Island is large hilly island has been transformed into a tranquil getaway with swimming lagoons, beaches, picnic grounds, trekking routes and soccer fields. It is perfect for a weekend visit.

Pulau Sakijang Pelepah or Lazurus Island. These tiny southern islands offer quiet respite from the big city with their laid-back ambience, sandy beaches and inviting waters. Swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving are recommended. The waters off Lazarus are good for scuba diving although the currents are quite strong. They are recommended only for experienced divers. However this island is under construction for some rich people resort soon... haiz.

Pulau Satumu or Raffles Lighthouse. Also known as One tree island, rated as a top dive site in Singapore. The lighthouse on the island is more than a century old. Sorry for the blur photo taken on a bumpy bus ride.

Pulau Senang or Barn Island. Isle of Ease'. Was a penal island, remembered for a revolt in 1963 in which the superintendent and others were brutally murdered. Now a live firing area.

Pulau Subar Darat or Big Sisters' Island. The waters off Sisters Islands are good for scuba diving although the currents are quite strong. They are recommended only for experienced divers.

Pulau Tekukor. One of the 7 Southern Islands of Singapore. This island is earmarked to be the location of Singapore's first waterfront housing, along with the other Southern Islands in the next century. In the past, this island was the fighting arena of competing warriors, thereby earning it the name of 'island of deadly duels'.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Singapore Botanic Garden

Yesterday was at Botanic Garden with the church and we had a great time of fellowship and getting close to nature. It was also my official first time getting around and was amazed at the vast variety of flora being planted.

Swan Lake
Peacock flower (Caesalpinia pulcherrima)
A duck trying to eat bread and a pair of lovely swans
Beautiful combination of lantana (Lantana spp.) inflorescences

Forgot to rotate. This is Yellow Saraca Tree (Saraca thaipingensis)
Fruits of elephant apple, simpoh (Dillenia indica)
Forgot to rotate again, Bottle tree (Brachychiton sterculia)
Sun Garden, full of cactus
Vanda Miss Joaquim (Singapore's national flower) - a hybrid in actual fact

Outside Orchid Garden
Primary rainforest. Other than in botanic garden, you can only find them in patches of bukit timah nature reserve and central catchment area
3 pretty girls
Fellowship and resting at the same time. Sun was hot!

Water Lily (Nymphaea pubescens)
Last but not the least, its dinner!! (not photographed to prevent your saliva from drooping)
Thank God for the day

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Kallang River- the river that used to be filthy

If you think Singapore river is the longest river in Singapore you are wrong. Though Singapore river stretches all the way to Great world city and to Queenstown as a canal there and it seems long enough, it is not the longest. Perhaps I'll prepare another post in future on the interesting histories of Singapore river and Stamford canal at Dohby Ghout (used to be Stamford river where the malay royals bathe and also clothes washing). Let's come back to this post haha.

Kallang river is the longest river in Singapore of about 10kms length from mouth of Marina barrage area way up to Lower Pierce reservoir at Thomson which has another story to tell about how Ang Mo Kio gets its name. Let's again not be distracted. Haha.

Went cycling with my brother last Sunday to exercise a bit but also to check out what this river has to offer. Compared to the past when this place was a filthy muddy swampy place of inhabitation, it is now much better relatively with water sports and kayaking. As mentioned in lectures, the rivers in the south of Singapore contains quite a variety of fishes and living creatures if you are not aware of. The river bed remembers anyone of its past... yes! Mud. And this place will soon contain water you will drink. Can we dig the mud out to clean up? It will worsen everything right? The questions are still hanging.

Again, if you think this place is lifeless, you are wrong.

Plenty of mollusc shells washed up showing the gradual positions of tides.

Molluscs of different kinds are found. Who needs to go East coast park to find nice shells to look at?

Coral bits are found. A reflectance of what lies beneath the river. The snails and molluscs are mostly alive. Be still and notice all of them moving.

The beauty of sunset.

Kallang river towards the mouth with the building of Ferris wheel in background.

We were at another spot nearer Beach Road. Remember, no swimming. Hehe

Couldn't remember and identify what is this. Any idea?

Did you notice the shell or actually something else more interesting? Do leave a msg at the tagboard if you wanna confirm with me.

Let's come back to the question that was hanging. Soon this is going to be part of the largest reservoir ever in Singapore. This is a very special reservoir as it stretches all the way to AMK and other places along the way. With the sight of enormous amount of rubbish and filth in this photo, and the possibility of chemical release in the river unoffically, are you prepared to drink water from here? What are the challenges PUB faces to create this largest reservoir? How much is our river affected by human activities like dumping or even the new kayaking nearer at the Bendemeer side? How much is our river ecology disturbed and changed especially after the barrage is built?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...