Jul 16, 2010

Cyrene Reef (16 Jul 10)

TeamSeagrass arrives at sunrise on Cyrene in high water!
And high spirits too!

We had arrived a little too early to land. The tide was still high so Cyrene Reef was still submerged, and the sun hadn't risen yet. So Shufen takes the opportunity to show us the cool new datasheets that Wei Ling has crafted for us out of laminated sheets overlaid by waterproof transparencies. Awesome!
After we land on Cyrene, we had to slog through high water to the sliver of sand bar that has just emerged. And set up for our monitoring.
Then we head out for our sites although the tide is still high.
As I looked back, the team at Site 1 is already at their transect lines! In the background, ominous clouds over Jurong Island.
Meanwhile, three of us head out for Site 2 as the sunrise lights up the giant cloud that has formed over Pulau Bukom from the emissions of the petrochemical plants there. We are short handed today, so each of us is monitoring our transects alone.
Despite Cyrene's location in the 'industrial triangle', it has great seagrass meadows and lots of marine life! Cyrene Reef has lots of Noodle seagrass (Syringodium isoetifolium) which is rather rarely seen on our other shores.
More seagrasses. I'm not too good at taking underwater photos.
Today, some parts of our transects at Site 2 were coated in a brown scummy layer.
A closer look at the scummy stuff growing over the seagrasses.
Here's a look at the scummy brown stuff underwater.
A closer look at scummy brown stuff underwater.
We finished monitoring just before the day got too hot. Here's a look at our cool new datasheets and gear. The new datasheets work like a charm!
As we head back from Site 2, I notice huge clouds over Jurong Island with rain already falling in the distance.
Lightning starts to strike nearby so we hurry to get back to the boat. Even though it was very sunny on some parts of Cyrene still!
Wow, a storm is building up over us!
Here's the first half of the team going home on the dinghy with trusty Jumari making sure we arrive alive.
As we wait for the dinghy to return for us, we spot a large Knobbly sea star (Protoreaster nodosus)! Cyrene is full of these fascinating sea stars!
We all got back safely and shared what we had seen. Among the highlights, the Site 1 team saw two Long-horned cowfishes (Lactoria cornuta). Cyrene Reef is truly awesome!

Glad to have with us today: Joo Yong, Gao Xiao, Yunfeng, Nor Aishah, Chay Hoon, Charmaine and Shufen!

More about Cyrene on the Cyrene Reef Exposed blog and facebook page.

Other posts about this trip:

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