Saturday, August 4, 2007

Team Seagrass session at Semakau

While you might be still sleeping, a gang of 24 team seagrassers set off from Marina South pier as we head on to Pulau Semakau for our monitoring session. It has been close to half since I went there and I'm very excited to finally be able to go back.

Pulau Semakau is yes, our landfill, where the incenerated rubbish ends up eventually. Yet, few people know that there is a recreational section of the island which includes this super big intertidal area, exposed at low tides. We can even get a very good view of Raffles Lighthouse which is way off south of Singapore Straits.

And the other direction we face Bukom where there are oil refinery. We started monitoring very efficiently today. Kudos to the wonderful and hardworking team. We spent about 1 hour in monitoring the seagrasses and also distinguishing the 5 different species along the transect. Sorry no photos as even my butts and thighs got wet in the seagrass lagoon as I had to bend down to do all the monitoring work with my great partner Yikang.

Soon, we finished our work. Ron accompanied me to the different parts of Semakau. I'm so sorry because he should have spent the time exploring elsewhere. I didn't know that you have yet to explore the far south portion.

It's actually my first time seeing this large Neptune's cup sponge near the reef edge.

Of the reef edge where there's dryer land, there is this nice noble volute laying eggs, passing generations.

This phyllid nudibranch is rather big compared to the rest. Ron later added that there are quite a number of them in Semakau.

Today Semakau was really lively as we had also the Raffles Museum walks with 50 people. I followed their markers and found this fabulous fluted giant clam (Tridacna squamosa). It's my first time seeing it, so I was full of wow.

Common seastars may not be common elsewhere but we can still find them at Semakau. When will these guys come back to Chek Jawa??

The RMBR people couldn't find these fascinating stars for their guided walks so Ron and I went combing close to the reef edge to find them. And soon aha! I saw the first one, followed by Ron in few seconds. After knowing we found them, the visitors were very excited too.

These guys also disappeared from Chek Jawa and Pulau Sekudu after the mass death in January.

Not too long, as I continued searching, I found this third one. Yay!

After the visitors left, we team seagrassers finally can get some moments with these "superstars".

Dr Daphne left an impact in us as we now pay more attention to anemones. This one I suspect is Stichodactyla mertensii and not Stichodactyla gigantea. Too bad I didn't manage to check the oral disk out of laziness as this is found very deep and very close to reef slope. I was struggling with the high water level.

This one found beside a disused concrete is the bulb-tentacle anemone (Entacmea quadricolor) where tomato clownfish like to reside. Too bad Ron says he has never seen any in this anemone for many times.

Ron shared with me about this anemone, Heteractis crispa. Or is it actually Macrodactyla doreensis?

This looks like the Stichodactyla gigantea anemone to me and its pretty big and nicely folded. Too bad no anemonefish were found residing in all these anemones.

Was pretty surprise we can find so many types of anemones in Semakau, including these carpet aneomones (Stichodactyla haddoni).

We also saw a couple of the "Condylactis Not" and the Frilly sea anemones.

This is what is NOT an anemone but a sunflower mushroom coral. It is a solitary being with a hard undersurface, unlike anemones.

Semakau also has a lot of soft corals and over here we see a huge patch of "dead men's finger" soft coral.

The day ended with the sweet couple walking back :-)


Ron Yeo said...

brudder, pai seh, was just kidding lah. it's in my blood. i always get into the guiding mode whenever i'm at semakau, and i enjoy sharing wat i know about semakau with others :)

so even if u r not w me, i'll still be there guiding others. i can always explore the southern end during our exploratory trips for guides :)

Unknown said...

Ron, you are indeed true blue authentic shore-guide. Admire your passion and sharing spirit.

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