Jul 26, 2009

Pulau Semakau (26 Jul 09)

TeamSeagrass is back on Pulau Semakau today! Though the weather forecast was for a storm with thunder and lightning, and it got ominous as we started the ferry trip, we went ahead anyway.
We got a ride on the NEA bus for this early morning trip! Saving us the more than 1km walk into the shore. What a special unexpected treat! Thanks to the ever friendly NEA officers who were so obliging even though they had a busy day ahead of them.

Aside from a few rumbles and light flashes in the sky, the weather seemed to have settled into a murky gloom when we arrived at our start point. We sort out the equipment and have a little briefing, going through some of the key characteristics of species and some safety issues. (We still remember much of what Len and Rudi taught us at the recent Workshop!)
And everyone gathers in their site teams to further work out the details. Here's the valiant team who will do the rather sloshy and deep Site 2.
While some of the newer members get to do the less daunting Site 1. Today, each site did their own GPS readings! We sure learnt a lot from Len and Rudi at the last Workshop.
We head off through the forested path to get to the shore. Today, there were NO mossies! What a relief.
We have added a new Site 4 to Semakau, and this brave group heads out to find the site as it hasn't be staked down yet.
Shufen, who is very much showing her mama-to-be status, is the only one who knows where it is. She heads out into the water with GPS coordinates and finds the start point. Yay!
Then we triangulate to find the other start points for the site. The second transect line starts in the middle of this line perpendicular to the start point.
And this is the third transect line. With Len and Rudi's training, we managed to do this quite easily and quickly. Yay!
Thanks to the every obliging NParks team and some who answered the last minute call for help, we managed to get this additional site set up and monitored.
After helping to set up Site 4, Wei Ling and I check out the other Sites. This is Site 3, near a huge and growing patch of sponges at the edges of the seagrass lagoon.
Lee Qi and Sean are doing a great job at the transect. Together, we figured out some of the species.
Meanwhile, the intrepid Water Quality monitoring team went ahead with their work. Even though they were short two members of their team. Bravo!
Today was a busy day at Pulau Semakau. A team of media people were on the shore and guided by Marcus Ng, also a TeamSeagrass member. Here's the line of visitors crossing the seagrass lagoon while the Team at Site 3 is at work.
After the monitoring is done, the Team have a quick look around the rest of this marvellous shore.
The seagrass meadows at Semakau are very much alive! And provide food and shelter for all kinds of animals. I saw this beautiful lacy egg ribbon probably laid by a nudibranch, wreathed among the long Tape seagrasses.
There are also large Giant carpet anemones (Stichodactyla gigantea) among the seagrasses. Some of these are homes to False clown anemonefishes (Amphiprion ocellaris).
NParks also took the opportunity to check out some rare coastal and mangrove trees found on Pulau Semakau, and to collect seeds for propagation and replanting.

The weather turned out great today! It didn't rain, but it was cool and breezy.

Thanks to everyone who turned up, especially those who answered the call for help.

The team today included: Andy, Hannah, Kah Ming, Sam Lai, Sam Yeo, Charmaine, Kenerf, Liu Jia, Cornie, Joo Yong, Lee Qi, Suizlyn, Michell, Sean, Vanitha, Yen-ling, Kevin, Cheng Puay, Suryati, OnG nUaN qIn, Joycelyn Tan, Suzanna chiang, Rozaimi, Jim, Uma, Mei Hwan, Aparna, Collin, Shufen, Wei Ling. We sure missed having Siti on our trip.

On this trip, we were also joined by Dr Daphne Fauntin and her student Andrea. Dr Daphne is the world authority on sea anemones and is in Singapore to study our sea anemones. We are fortunate to have her take a look at those found on Pulau Semakau.

More posts about this trip

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