Dec 3, 2009

Cyrene Reef (2 Dec 09)

It's our very last monitoring trip for the year, and the last one for Cyrene Reef. A very VERY small team headed out after a last-minute stress-inducing change in departure point. Straight into a gloomy sky with clouds over the Reef (marked by the orange beacon).
But we arrived safely, in the good hands of Jumari on the trusty dinghy, and immediately hustled to get The Job Done. There were only six of us so we each did a line on our own!

Ivan, Abigayle and I headed out to the far far away Site 2. Here is Abigayle doing her line with our container port in the background.
And here is Ivan doing his line. Isn't it amazing to see such vast seagrass meadows in the midst of massive container facilities and petrochemical industries!
Here's Abigayle taking a photo for the monitoring. She has a great idea of bringing a bucket to keep all her stuff! It keeps things dry (relatively) and is also a handy table. Hmm, I must try this idea out.
Meanwhile, Kok Sheng, Jocelyne and Kah Ming have been busy at Site 1 which is more difficult to do as it is thick with seagrasses. And Kok Sheng also took GPS readings of both Site 1 AND Site 2. That's a lot of walking! Thanks Kok Sheng.

Cyrene monitoring is particularly difficult because there are so many different species of seagrasses often on one line and in one square. And the different species often look very similar!
Here's the typical mess of grass we usually have to figure out on Cyrene.
And finally, I found the Ribbon seagrass (Cymodocea rotundata) on Cyrene! I was supposed to show it to Siti's supervisor Prof Paul on our last trip, and I totally missed the huge patch. In fact, all along I thought these were big fat Needle seagrass (Halodule sp.). But today I took a closer look and realised it was Ribbon seagrass!
And this is NOT seagrass or seaweed. It's an Ornate leaf slug (Elysia ornata)! There were a lot of them among the seagrass meadows.
After monitoring, we had a quick look around at this amazing shore. See the links below to other blog posts about sightings on this trip.

Fortunately, the weather held and we did not get rained on. In fact, we enjoyed quite a spectacular sunset.
The team for this trip: Kok Sheng, Kah Ming, Jocelyne, Abigayle, Ivan Kwan and Ria.

The tide tables have just been issued and we will soon be sorting out monitoring trips for 2010. Hope to see more of the Team on these upcoming trips!

Other posts about this trip:

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