Apr 18, 2010

Pulau Semakau (18 Apr 10)

It's sunrise and the Team is already well on the way to Pulau Semakau!
We're already passing by the dumpling shaped Pulau Jong as the first rays of the sun light up the sky.

After a quick briefing and getting our gear in order...
We take a looong walk along the landfill road to the natural shores of Pulau Semakau. But it's a lovely cool morning and it was a nice opportunity for everyone to catch up and get to know one another.
Then we head out to our sites. I did Site 1 again, with some enthusiastic first-timers. It's the furthest site from the entrance to the shore, but relatively easy so it makes a good introduction to our monitoring. In the distance, flaring is still going on at the petrochemical installations on Pulau Bukom.
Jason and I did Transect 3. There's not much seagrasses, and lots of Codium seaweeds (Codium sp.).
And at some parts, zero everything!
But near our transect, the Fire anemone (Actinodendron sp.) is still there! It gives a nasty sting and none of us wanted to find out just how badly it stung.
Although the seagrasses were not flowering today, we saw several large hairy fruits of the Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides).
Andy kindly took the GPS readings for our site after he finished with his transect.
While Yen-Ling and Yunfeng are finishing up their work.
After we finished our monitoring, we had a quick look around on our way back. Jason spots a long Big synaptid sea cucumber (Family Synaptidae).
Gao Xiao has really sharp eyes and she spots this pair of mating Ceratosoma nudibranchs (Ceratosoma sp.)!
As well as the Jorunna nudibranch (Jorunna funebris).
And this little filefish (Family Monacanthidae) leapt out of the water as we walked along. After we quickly took some photos, we made sure it got back safely into into the water.
Just before we reached the exit from the shore, there were lots of Common sea stars (Archaster typicus).
Jason also spotted a green smasher mantis shrimp (Gonodactylus chiragra) and a pufferfish but they were too quick for a photo.

How delightful to find out that NEA is kindly providing us a bus ride back to the jetty! The morning had been getting hotter and I was dreading the long walk back. Thank you NEA! Here's Gao Xiao and Yunfeng, still lively and happy!
On the bus, there's a big poster of the Semakau Landfill (the man-made portion with sea walls sectioned off into smaller areas where all of Singapore's incinerated trash is dumped) and the natural original Pulau Semakau (the irregularly shaped portions on the left hand side, with mangroves, reefs, sandy shores and of course lots of seagrasses!).
After a quick wash up of self and gear, we're back on the ferry. On the ride home, Andy is our favourite seagrasser. Because he has brought yummy egg-tarts for everyone! Thank you Andy!
We had a small team today: James, Chay Hoon, Joo Yong, Yen-Ling, Andy, Vanitha, Suryati, Nadine, Gao Xiao, Yunfeng, Dawn, Dewei, Jason and Kian Seng. Thanks to Shufen for arranging the ferry, Wei Ling for preparing for our trip as usual and Siti for making sure we got it done right.

There will be no monitoring in May as the team managers have lots of other stuff to do during the year's intense series of super low tides.

See you for our next monitoring session in June!

Other posts about this trip

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