Sunday, September 2, 2007

An evening with the Saint

The evening tides have arrived and our first destination is to St John Island (Pulau Sakijang Bendera) which is 6.5 km south of Singapore.

No more waking up in the wee hours and having a headache on how to get public transport. One thing about having evening tides is that I compromised on the packing, was searching high and low to my dismay for my torch.

Setting off from Marina South Pier, the wildfilms and beachfleas gang headed southwest-ward. From this photo, we can see four areas, from the front, a rocky outcrop exposed at low tides, Sentosa cove, Keppel shipyard and the far back is the city landscape. Look at how busy our straits and coasts are, filled with human interventions. This is the price to pay for development.

And this nice lettering on the slopes of the island continues to welcome and tell everyone you're at the right place.

An evening session definitely includes a setting sun as the backdrop of the tranquil island.

Landing on the jetty, we were greeted with many fishermen and also a kuching. St John is indeed a great getaway from the hussles and bussles of the busy city life.

Though we did not visit the island for the sandy beach of the swimming lagoon, it was nice to see this sand castle made by well-wisher writting a "God bless" greeting. It has been since I-dont-know-when I have build sandcastles on the beach like a child, though I like to build them in the air.

St John shores has these natural rocky coast cliffs where fault lines are exposed, revealing the beauty and art of nature. Why are these cliffs pink, it is because of the oxidation of iron.

St John is an island that is filled and compacted with life. There are many soft corals and hard corals found, including this blue coral. Though it doesn't look blue but dark brown, it is named that way becasue it has a blue internal skeleton.

Very quickly, I spotted some spiny projections which resembles the spider conch (Lambis lambis). And overturning it, the camouflage from its back was exposed as having beautiful pinkish underside with the creature inside.

Chay Hoon, with her sharp eyes, spotted this pesudoceros flatworm. Though this species is more common than others, I really love it because the colours are really stinning with a striking yellow line across the white and blue body.

As the sunsets with a orangey glow behind the two sisters,

the gang continues to explore the shore creatures. Note the landslide behind. Landslides are mainly caused by exposure when vegetations are removed or when there is human intervention, like the path on top of the cliff. It is something that can be big scale and disastrous and engineers should never underestimate it.

Just as we were looking around, we saw this great billed heron stopping by. It was a great sight.

Back to the shores, we were enthrilled to see how colourful it is, with this sponge here of course.

And we also saw a number of this neptune's cup sponge, in bright yellow.

Phymanthus anemones are common, and among the others spotted are the moon snails prowling, the wandering cowries wandering (duh) and the tiny shrimps scrawling across the rocks.

Ron spotted a gigantea carpet anemone with a residential anemone shrimp on it.

Red egg crabs are also very common nearing the edge of the shore, this one here seems to be disturbed or interacted with the active swimming crab.

Ron, July and I spotted these greenish blobs at the reef edge. Ron was saying they are corallimorphs.

But as what I observed in water, they look more like anemones. Ron agreed too and we are still clueless as to what they are. Any ideas folks?

Octopus always show their mastery of camouflage, can you spot where this one is?
Staring into the details of the crowded living reef edge, I was pleasantly surprised to see these very tiny and cute hydroids.

Chee Yuan spotted the hairy projections at one of the rock crevices and Ron shared that it is most likely from the clam. Beside it is a cowrie, also well camouflaged.

I spotted this interesting thing on a rock, looks like a coral. Can anyone help me out with identifying it?

This black flatworm has yellow and white edges and it is the first time I saw such of a kind.

With Chay Hoon around, there will be more things to see. This carpet eel blenny was at first hiding under a rock with the head and tail exposed. After removing the rock, we can see this guy in full. Hehe.

And CH also found this really tiny hairy seahorse. Not only was it tiny, it was truly well camouflaged. Surely I would have missed it.

This is indeed the corallimorph that we common see and know.

More crabby creatures include brown egg crabs, velcro or decorator crabs etc.

We spent the last 15 mins on the sandy swimming lagoon and amongst the mass of molluscs found, I saw this loner and only Haddon's carpet anemone.

And the reason of being at the swimming lagoon is to look for these common seastars. Sadly, these guys are no longer common, due to overcollection.


Unknown said...

I really don't have words to tell you how much I adore such creative art..and the blog in which you are saluting the ultimate power...This one really amazed me..See earlier I went for trekking in savannah with my friends from aquabot to have a face off with the winderbeasts..and I too have a some great memories of the tour...but this one really is exceptional....Can you provide the link for wall paper sizea collection that you have....It really something which you want to have with you as a great reminder...

Kok Sheng said...

Hi, there are many fantastic photos of Singapore's natural heritage at Wildsingapore's flickr page at: I believe you will like it

shenjiaqing said...

Hi Kok Sheng,
It seems like we are in the same nature groups: Naked Hermit Crab? Team seagrass?
And you mentioned "Chay Hoon"! :)
See you by the shore soon!
Great works done here!

Kok Sheng said...

yeah, see you soon!

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