Monday, May 3, 2010

Hot and scorching at Semakau

Today's a school holiday so I'm free to go for yet another shore trip. This time guiding a group of enthusiastic people who worked in the CPG Corporation.

As we arrived at Semakau, the sun was already quite way up the sky with Pulau Jong at the background. Judging from the weather, it was going and indeed was a hot and sunny day!

We had a quick briefing to orientate ourselves at the Semakau landfill. Many of them came for their first time!

And after a good walk from the admin building with some nice chats with some of them, we finally arrived on the shores! And yes it is huge.

The sunny weather did not dampen our spirit! I believe many like the experience of crossing the death zone of the seagrass lagoon. Why death zone? It is a route that is marked out for all of us to cross so that we will not trample the other parts of the seagrasses in the meadow.

This place is also the best location for a group photo. I've learnt to be smarter to ask them to take two photos. The first one is the formal and serious one.

And the second is the wacky shot! They were so sporty that their wacky poses accidentally blocked some others, which is why a first formal shot will allow everyone to at least be in the photo. Haha.

Anyway, the group phototaking was a great starter to the rest of the guided walk.

We all hit straight to the coral reef as the tide is coming back very soon!

Among the first stops at the reef edge is this handsome resident Fluted giant clam (Tridacna squamosa). With Mei Lin's study on them, now I have much more stories to share about these clams. This clam seemed to have spotted us because it squirted water in our presence. This, in nature, helps to actually deter predators away.

There were many hard corals, soft corals, sponges etc. However most of the moving organisms were hiding as it was really hot. At least we saw some hairy crabs, swimming crabs, noble volute and another group saw a spider conch!

It was nice to see the Cabbage coral (Trachyphyllia geoffroyi)! My second seeing it. After telling those in my group how rare this coral is, they were also as excited as me and started taking lots of photos.

We had a good look at the coral reef area after which and came across lots of living marine life.

One of the more beautiful hard coral will be this Sunflower mushroom hard coral (Heliofungia actiniformis).

There was also a good and healthy colony of the not-so-common Acropora coral (Acropora sp.) that has a juvenile soft coral beside it.

One of my favourite finds will be this horn-like sponge! It looks like a mini castle on the shore.

Chay Hoon later found a Dragonfish sea cucumber (Stichopus horrens) while I also found a Stonefish sea cucumber (Actinopyga lecanora).

Soon, it was time to head back for our landfill tour and presentation! Marcus was with us and he became the star because many of them were asking him to autograph on the Semakau book (since he wrote it).

And of course, to remember the day's trip, a group photo before we leave. :)

Glad to share the shores today with so many of them!


Commander said...

Thanks Kok Sheng. It was a fun trip for my colleagues and me, thanks to you, Ria, Chay Hoon and Marcus. :)

Also finally got to meet you in person after so long!

Unknown said...

Hi Khew, yes! great to have met you finally. :)

Glad to know that you all enjoyed the trip.

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