May 1, 2009

Pulau Semakau (1 May 09)

The Team is on Pulau Semakau bright and early for our regular monitoring session. But today, Len and Rudi from Seagrass Watch HQ are with us to audit our processes. We take this opportunity to catch up with issues and sort out stuff.Eventually, the Slow Boat got us to Pulau Semakau.
Siti starts us off with our usual briefing, and team leaders got everyone and the gear sorted out before we headed through Semakau's infamous Mosquito Alley.
On the shore, we clarify issues and sort out details before heading out for our sites.Meanwhile, we've gently put up our banner so that other visitors on the shore have a better idea of why we are out in the seagrass meadows. We had to wait a bit for the tide to go down. We arrived much earlier than we thought because we unexpectedly got a ride out to the shore! Initially we thought we had to walk out. Thank you Joseph and James from NEA for looking after us despite your very busy schedule.We take the opportunity to sort out various field issues with Len and Rudi.
Besides Len (in blue shirt and hat), we are also joined by Kwok Chen Ko and his students who are doing water quality studies on Pulau Semakau.
No, it's not a terrorist among us. It's Richard protecting his complexion from the sun.
Eventually the tide falls and we're off to monitor!It's great to have Len on the field to explain aspects of monitoring to the volunteers.

Alas, at Site 1, we are unable to find a single one of our three stakes! We have no idea what happened to the stakes!

We overcome this major obstacle by adhering strictly to our Standard Operating Procedures, i.e., PANIC and run around like wild dogs!

No, of course we didn't.

Fortunately Kevin had the GPS points in his mobile phone. We used that re-establish one point from which we triangulated the rest using our trusty compasses and measuring tapes. The Site was duly monitored and the Day was Saved!Here's a photo by Kevin of Hannah and Jeremy getting the Site 1 monitoring done. Bravo!

It was a really hot day, and there was MORE work to be done!

Meanwhile, thank you to the leads for the Sites: Nor Aishah, Hannah, Chay Hoon, Marcus Ng, Cheng Puay, Andy, Suizlyn, Michell.

And all the Team members who came for the monitoring: Kevin, Sean, Dewei, Yoke Xi, Joycelyne, Dawn, Richard, Gaytri, Anuj, Vyna and Marcus Tay.

It was great to have NParks friends with us: Hassan (for his 'has sun' effect) and Sunshine (aha, no wonder we had such a great blue sky day), Md Rozaimi, Jeremy, Belinda and Collin.

Also lovely to have Chen Ko and his students with the Team. More about Chen Ko and his work on his Water Quality in Singapore blog.

But of course, Len and Rudi made the trip super special!

Thank you everyone from Siti, Shufen, Wei Ling and me.

I'm blogging this right in the middle of the Level 1 classroom session. Tomorrow we're off to Chek Jawa for the Level 1 field session. It's been exhausting but really fun and I've learnt so much!

For more of what else we saw during the trip

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