May 27, 2009

Cyrene Reef (27 May 09)

It's another early departure for a tiny band of Seagrassers. We depart from the very swank Marina at Keppel Bay and were nearly turned away by the super tight security folks.
Fortunately, we managed to convince them that we were genuine customers and soon we were off in a brand new boat arrangement with Thye and Jumari. Here we are passing Labrador, with the park lights still on.
But it's lights out for Mei Lin, who snuggles up in such a cute curl for a nap as we head off for Cyrene Reef. She reminds me of a hermit crab in its shell.
We approach our favourite submerged reef from another angle at first light through the hazy cloudy sky.
And here is Thye helping Siti off into the dinghy that takes us out to the reef.
Jumari takes us swiftly to the shore. Another change as you can see, we all have to wear spiffy life vests. I had to let mine out a lot along the sides to be able to get into it. Sigh.
We land on another part of the reef which doesn't have any sand bars. So we set up on the sandiest portion we could find. We also de-vest quite rapidly.
The team is very lean today, so most of us did a transect alone. Here is Andy hard at work on his. Thanks to Andy for helping us straighten up our lines, and taking the GPS points for Site 2!
There are MANY species of seagrasses on Cyrene so it's quite tricky to do the monitoring.
Fortunately, my transect was rather sparse so I didn't have to struggle too hard. Unlike the stalwarts who did Site 1. The tide window is very short today! We had only about 20 minutes after finishing the monitoring to get back to the departure point. But still I managed to see quite a lot of marinelife on the short and quick walk.
I was the first to get there, and already the tide was coming in and our gear was starting to float away!
A quick rescue of gear, we put on the vests and make the long scary trek to the edge of the reef to get on the dinghy. After Chay Hoon's very traumatic encounter with a stingray yesterday, we were all praying very hard, as we waded through high water, not to step on a stingray or a stonefish!!
By the time the second batch was waiting to get on the dinghy, the water was already quite high. Fortunately, everyone made it safely back and we had an injury-free trip.

Thanks to all who came for the trip: Nor Aishah, Andy, Kenerf, Michelle, Mei Lin. And also Collin and Robin for coming along to help with the gear. And to Wei Ling for arranging stuff even though she couldn't make it for the trip. We sure missed Wei Ling and Shufen.

More blog posts about this trip

1 comment:

mitis said...

I think we all look very dapper in our spiffy life vests :)