Apr 13, 2008

Chek Jawa (12 April 2008)

Chek Jawa has always had a reputation as a treasure trove that supports a rich variety of life on its shores. And yesterday, it was no different.

Except this time, other than marine life, Chek Jawa also played host to another species – the homo sapiens! The boardwalk and shores came alive with the sights and sounds of families with children in tow, nature guides, a gaggle of school children, who are all eager to experience the wonder that Chek Jawa beholds.

One itches to join in the fun but nevertheless, the committed Team Seagrass directed their attention to the immediate task at hand to monitor the development of the seagrass.

In fact, the day marked a new beginning. Here we see the team doing the new transect at House No. 1 for Halophila beccarii. The first step in laying out the tape required plodding through 50m of soft sand, which at times threatens to pull you under, as evidenced by the deep imprints left in the sand.

With the tape laid out, the rest of the team came over to the end of the tape to start doing their readings from the 50m mark. Sam looked suspiciously like he was on the wrong side of the tape. Hmm...BUSTED! =)

At every 5m interval, the team will record their readings and jot them down on the monitoring sheet. Other than seagrass, sometimes one comes across the odd hermit crab or two. Now, whatever did these two Team Seagrassers see in their transect squares?

The sand looks sparse of seagrass but a closer look revealed the good ol’ halophila ovalis...

as well as the Halophila beccarii species.

Over at Site 1, we weren’t doing too badly either, encountering the cymodocea rotundata and the halophila ovalis species in our transect squares.

With the monitoring done, it was then time to comb the shores to discover what lies beneath the vast patches of green.

Trying to look for anemone shrimps under the carpet anemone with the dive steel pointer earned me a stern rebuke from the snapping shrimp hiding underneath. But not all the marine animals were as indignant at being spotted. The other Team Seagrassers spotted sea urchins, various species of sea stars, sea hares, sea pens and a riot of other marine life.

The searing heat from the sun soon threatened to scorch us into oblivion. Everyone’s taking a well-deserved rest at the jetty, waiting for the boats. Jerald was probably contemplating a hard day’s work...or maybe wondering where the missing peg was!

Siti’s shepherding her team into the boat. It’s back to mainland folks!

Many thanks to all who came for the monitoring session: Andy, Chay Hoon, Dawn, Gaytri, Hannah, June, Kah Chine, Kenerf, Marcus, Michell, Mizuki, Nor Aishah, Sam, Shufen, Si Jie, Siti, Suizlyn, Vyna, Weiling, Jerald, Collin, Bellinda, Kevin and Ria!

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