Monday, August 4, 2008

Chek Jawa check with friends

After the post of the recovery of Chek Jawa thus far on the CJ project blog, I felt I need another post to bring across today's trip more lightheartedly.

It is always a challenge to ask friends to meet for trips at Changi at say 4-5am kind of timing because it requires a sacrifice of sleep, cab fare, energy and also their day work.

Praise the Lord, I still have great friends today with me :-)

From left to right: Pamela, Ginny, Tze Hwee and Han Sheng. This is a photo actually taken at the end of the shore work today. We couldn't resist climbing Jejawi Tower to see the nice scenery.

In fact when we started work at Chek Jawa around 5.30am, it was pitch dark. Orion constellation was prominent! We started by searching and hunting very hard for the common sea stars which two of them were found eventually! Way to go.

It was about 7am we get to see the wonderful sunrise on a clear day. Can you see Ginny in this photograph?

We couldn't resist taking a photo with the sunrise, and here's Ginny's cheery shot! Usually my friends will tell me how rare it is for them to see sunrise because most of us are too lazy to wake up so early.

As you can see, we are surveying the coral rubble area. Only Ginny and I were there to minimize trampling over this fragile ecosystem of Chek Jawa.

This is my first time taking a photo of the beacon from bottom up. Nice perspective!

There were lots of large shorebirds flying across. Also making melodies include the chirpings from the coastal forest.

Below are some of the marine critters found today.

That includes two juvenile knobbly sea stars! This was found in the seagrass lagoon.

And this at the coral rubble area. First time seeing the young ones at Chek Jawa. Sadly, didn't encounter the adult ones.

Cake sea star.

Another cake sea star with pretty pinkish tips on the arms.

We managed to find the common sea stars after quite a hard round of searching!

Not only one, but two. Glad to know they are still around.

The southernmost part near the coral rubble hosts plenty of adult carpet anemones.

We also saw a living horseshoe crab today. I sort of turned into guiding mode and shared with them about these amazing crabs that are actually more related to spiders.

Mantis shrimp

Tiger moon snail (Natica tigrina)

There were also many fiddler crabs that are quite fun to look at.

A first hand experience with what it truly means by a naked hermit crab. The butt is very soft and vulnerable, so it requires a shell for protection. Or else, it will die soon.

This is a Diamond wrasse (Halichoeres nigrescens). These fishes live in sandy parts of rocky shores. At low tide, they hide under rocks or bury themselves in the sand.

I've no idea what is this though? Is it a sea pen or a sea pencil?

This anemone is not the peacock anemone and is seldom encountered. I think we have seen this before at Chek Jawa.

There are many types of seagrasses include rare ones!

Their scientific name is Halophila beccarii.

They come in tiny rosettes and it patterns on the seagrass blade gives rise to a common name: Tiger seagrass.

While climbing up the tower after we left the shore, we encountered a bat!

It is a juvenile bat that looks unwell, lying on the plank of the tower.

Tze Hwee was very kind to pour some water, thinking the bat is dehydrated. Indeed the bat started drinking. We later shifted the bat to a shaded area. Let's hope it will recover soon.

I couldn't resist but to take a photograph of the rambutans!

It's surprising to see such a beautiful vending machine at the information kiosk.

With many nice marine photos.

Well, it's very nice to return to Chek Jawa after two months or so. Thanks to my friends for making the trip a pleasant one.


Unknown said...

I enjoyed myself too! Hopefully I have the time to join such trips again in remember to prepare more free food for your volunteers!!


Unknown said... I know how to attract more people to help. More free food :-)

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