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'.

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