Saturday, August 29, 2009

Long yet fulfilling day at Ubin

It has been ages since I've ever explored the terrestrial side of Ubin. The last trip was with Ron, July, Ivan and Justin more than 1.5 years ago.

Finally, I kicked myself out of the bed with sleepy heads to get to Ubin early in the morning before 9am. For what? It is to cycle with Pamela and Ben.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sharing about our shores at NIE Learning Festival

July invited me earlier on to give a talk about our shores in Singapore for NIE Learning Festival 2009. I readily agreed since I thought it's a good opportunity to share about our lovely as well as secret-filled shores to friends in NIE.

The title is "Secret shores of Singapore", as adapted from Ria's original talk. I also made use of many of her slides for the talk as well as I can't resist not using her colourful slides.

Tuas: Journey to the west

Tuas is home to an array of beautiful gardens at differents parts of the shore. It is also the only shore in the west that I've ever visited. Considering almost all of our western coastline have been urbanised or reclaimed, it makes me all the more think that Tuas is a very special shore.

At Merawang beacon off Tuas, we spent a short 20 minutes exploring marine life around there because the tide was already quickly coming back.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lovely marine garden at Tuas

Schering Plough is very fortunate to have a lovely marine garden at their very own backyard. With their dedicated volunteers who monitors the seagrassers at this garden, a team of us joined along to take a look at this fascinating shore that escaped reclamation.

The furthest and also the nicest part of the garden is marked by the green beacon on the rocky outcrop. In order to get there, one has to cross the deeper waters that is usually below knee deep if we know when the tide timings are.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Charming Chek Jawa

Chek Jawa is very charming to me. After working many times on it from 2007 to 2008 for the Chek Jawa mortality and recruitment project, this shore has earned a special place in my heart.

In what way is it special and charming? It is both the ecosystems as well as the spectacular landscapes you get when you are there. Seldom you get places in Singapore where one can escape from sights of civilisation or urbanisation. It's just peaceful to immense myself in the serenity and tranquility of Chek Jawa.

Yesterday I was back at CJ to do a followup on my check of the shore and I caught this special sunrise scene where the sky seems to be divided clearly into half! I did not doctor this photograph to get this effect.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Back to Little Sisters after two years

After two years of absence, I'm finally back to Little Sisters with a bunch of friends. I still remember the totally black frogfish found back then.

After three consecutive trips with no sunrise to look at, today's trip was splendid for its sunrise and good weather.

Friday, August 21, 2009

More living corals at Tanah Merah

After getting distracted by the new stretch of sandy shore, we finally set foot to where the living corals can be found. As previously blogged, Tanah Merah is probably the best shore to find corals in mainland Singapore.

And we are amazed at the number of corals and their growth size found on this shore! At the beginning, there were quite a number of different types of the Pore corals (Porites sp.). They can come in boulder shape and branching forms.

New sandy stretch at Tanah Merah

This morning James, Yan Xiang and I braved ourselves in a totally new shore territory to check out what kind of marine life exist in this stretch. We originally wanted to check out the corals off the sea wall but there was a tiny stretch of sandy shore that kept us distracted for one hour!

Like the sandy shore of East Coast, there are Thorny sea cucumbers (Colochirus quadrangularis) and tiny bits of living Sea fans (Order Gorgonacea) over here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New East Coast shore = New surprises

Continuing from yesterday's long march at East Coast, today we covered another new stretch of Singapore's longest shore. And this rocky shore is home to many new surprises!

The best surprise must be this Batik tailed slug (Philinopsis sp.)! I've not seen it before on our shores though the others had. Never did I expect to find it at East Coast. Of course, this slug was found by our slug lady, Chay Hoon!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Living walls of East Coast

East Coast Park is well known for its reclaimed sandy shores and previously there were visits to this shore during low tide to look at marine life among the sand.

Not only does East Coast have sandy shore that is alive, the rocks near or on the seawall are also full of life. Just like this Sally-lightfoot crab (Grapsus albolineatus) that was found today in the seawall crevice.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sinking mud at Pasir Ris Part II

Muddy it may be, Pasir Ris is an oasis of colourful and interesting marine creatures. Especially for creatures that prefer this kind of soft sediment and muddy substrate.

One of which must be the peacock anemones (Order Ceriantharia). They look like flowers on the mud when they are still submerged in the water.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sinking mud at Pasir Ris Part I

A last minute change of plan led the four of us to Pasir Ris! And this location has proved to be a very soft and muddy where we could, at any time, sink up to our waist! But it was all worth it, because there's lots of life on this treacherous shore.

When I first stepped onto the shore, this female Orange fiddler crab (Uca vocans) greeted me on the high shores. I wondered why it didn't try to escape from me like their peers. Maybe it was just too sleepy? But the crab sure looks funny.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Back to Tanah Merah

We are back again at Tanah Merah. It's such a huge shore with different habitats at different areas. Therefore during this low tide season, the team is commited to cover as much grounds as possible.

Yes, there are certain stretches along the shore that is rather rocky with good growths of seaweeds among the rocks.

Melissa's article on intertidal wetlands is out!

Remember my first time guiding at St John's Island in May this year?

I had the pleasure to get to know Melissa (second from left) who is former marine biologist. She is very friendly and enthusiastic during the session, making the trip very enjoyable.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Can't imagine it's Tanah Merah

It's August and another series of low spring tide has arrived! This time, we are out to another stretch of Tanah Merah and it is my first time visiting this portion of the shore. And to my amazement, the marine life here just simply rocks!

Who will imagine to find the Ceratosoma nudibranch (Ceratosoma sp.) on a reclaimed shore? Thanks to Chay Hoon's eagle eyes, we had the pleasure of seeing this handsome nudi.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Diving at Lembeh Straits Part 2

Here's the part two of my diving adventure at Lembeh Straits sharing with you more about its coral reef.

Yes, Lembeh is not just pure muck diving with volcanic sand as substrate but there's also spectacular coral reefs!

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