Purpose of NatureScouter

This blog will address mainly two issues - Nature and Scouting.

The purpose of Nature blogs is to educate and promote the awareness of Singapore’s and global environmental and conservation issues to the public and the Scouting community. The Scouting-related blogs serve the similar purpose by promoting the World’s largest youth movement and its activities to the public.

This blog was created thanks to the persistent demands of all my dear friends to blog, and on my 25th birthday, this blog was born.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Team Seagrass P. Semakau

It was a rush... Finish work, quick lunch, change of clothes and off I went. Arranged with Nicholas (NUS exchange student from New York) to head out together. And we were too early (1.15pm...), so we sat and enjoyed our lunch and the breeze at Marina South Pier. Soon enough, NParks arrived and many followed. And it was all aboard a VIP boat.

Red carpet, benches with tables and nice air-con. What a luxury (You can see from the faces of the people and those sleeping that is so comfortable)!

Thanks to Siti and my theory of 'consistency of scientific data collection', I was arrowed to Site 2 again... and I was tasked to guide the two young interns from NParks. That's not all as the first aid kit came along with me - Arrowed again... *Losing too much blood*

Everyone was all geared and ready to hop on the bus to make our way. Well, except for a certain group of people among us...

Who were still busy putting on their booties while everyone else was waiting.

After the bus ride, we braved the mosquitoe-infested forest again. This time, I made a quick stop, snapped and in a jiffy, picked up my feet again before any start to feast on me.

Weather was initially sunny, but an overcast soon took over. In fact, it was even better - cooler.

And here's my two 'interns', Meera (left) and Jion Chun. Just realised that their faces are not shown... well, guess they will remain faceless for now.

We actually started a little early. The water was rather high (left) as compared to some time later. You can clearly see the difference.

Well, I was rather surprised that my team completed our transect pretty fast, considering it's site 2. Good thing too as we have more time to explore.

Found this swimming crab at my transect.

And hairy crabs are everywhere.

While we were doing our transect, someone shouted to us, 'Heron!'. My team started to look at the sky, but nothing was there so we went, 'Where!?'. 'NO! There! In front of you!'. End up, the heron was just like 50 metres or so in front of us... so embarrassing...

Not much thou, but here goes the critter list.
Gigantic carpet anemone (Stychodactyla gigantea).

There are also quite a lot of these little anemones among some rocks.

These look like anemones, but in fact they are corals, more specifically mushroom corals (Heliofungia actiniformis).

These are also often mistook for anemones. This is actually a Fanworm, a type of tubeworm (Not that I really know of any other types of tube worms.. Hehe...).

From far, this looked like a branching coral (Pocillopora sp). When I took a closer look, it turned out to be a leathery soft coral.

Shufen said this was a sponge. Cool-looking one, like a fungus. Should have ask Swee Cheng... Are you here??

A nice pink sponge. Love sponges with striking colours.

A ball sponge (Indicated by Shufen). Note the bright orange inside. No harm was done to the sponge as sponge generates by 'splitting'. You cut one sponge and it becomes two. But never go around cutting everything up. This was done as an example.

Found a spider conch also. Don't mind the chopsticks. Was trying to raise it up abit for a clearer shot as the water was murky.

While we were walking towards the outer edge, someone spotted this little nudi (Jorunna funebris). Common fellow but at least I achieved my target of at least one nudi per trip.

Along the way, we also spotted several synaptic sea cucumbers. These are the browns ones. Black ones are also pretty common.

Look at the amount of tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides). Endless...

Some of the tape seagrass were blooming. You can find the male flowers (styrofoam-like bits) floating around. The female flower is shown here with its 3 white petals.

Meera (one of the interns) nearly stepped on this. Note the electric blue spots among the sand. A blue-spotted fantail ray is hiding, with its venomous spine ready to jab anyone or anything that disturbs or steps on it.

Soon it was about time to leave as it was getting dark. While we all boarded the bus for a lift back to the NEA buidling, a film crew was 'left' behind. This film crew was there to shoot an episode for the currently-showing series, 'Once upon a Tree - Tides and Coastlines'. Catch it every Tuesday at 9.30pm on Arts Central. Discover Singapore's very own reefs!

At the dock, we were greeted by a huge barge carrying the ashes of trash. This barge arrives here twice a day, so take some time and imagine the amount of trash that a small island country like us can produce. Put that on a global scale and reflect.

The boat trip back was amazing, with everyone sitting on the open deck - eating, drinking and snapping photos every now and then. Was rather lazy and pre-occupied to take a photo, not that my camera is good for night shoots either. Haha...


Siyang said...

Everyone look so tired in the first photo! ;p

SJ said...

Yea. When I processed the photos, I was thinking it looked more like a picture taken AFTER the monitoring... Haha...

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