Sunday, August 03, 2014

A Good Deal Not To Miss.....

GS-Diving offered a discounted price for this weekend dives at Pulau Hantu! Haha.....a good deal not to be missed and I get another chance to breathe compressed air. So, why not?

First dive was at the North jetty. The visibility still at about 1-1.5m. Same as two weeks ago when I was there. There was slight currents but still manageable. As usual, we tried to search for the Seahorses. However, I did not find the one that I saw during last trip at its usual spot.....Hmmm

Here's what I saw during first dive;


Shrimp on Sea Fan! Frontal and side views!

Plenty of Crinoids!

Besides Shrimps, you can find Allied Cowrie on Sea Fans too!

Came across a Carpet Eel Blenny and it has a parasite on its right eye! Eeks!

A Thorny Sea Cucumber.

Among the Staghorn Corals, you get to see the Bandit Coral Crab (Tetralia nigrolineata).
 
A Rudman's Phyllidiella nudibranch (Phyllidiella rudmani).

A Girdled Glossodoris nudibranch (Glossodoris cincta).

A Slender Ceratosoma nudibranch (Ceratosoma gracillimum).

A school of Silver Moonies under the jetty at the end of the first dive.

We went over to the west side of the island and this is the first time that I dive at the smaller patch reef (arrow pointing)!

Sadly, noticed that some corals on the reef flat are bleaching.

A Blue Dragon nudibranch (Pteraeolidia ianthina).

Quite a few of these yellow Doto nudibranch (Doto sp.) on the Hydroids!

Came across an unknown Aeolid nudibranch on another Hydroid too!

A Ocellate Phyllidia nudibranch (Phllidia ocellata).

A small Siboga Cuthona nudibranch (Cuthona sibogae) on one side of a Hydroid,

and a pair mating on another side of the Hydroid! 

A Crinoid with a Brittle star!

Spider crab hiding inside a hole.

One of the many colourful Ascidians.

Flatworm. 

A Gorgonian Wrapper Anemone on a Sponge instead of a Sea Fan! 

An Anemone Shrimp on a Giant Carpet Anemone sharing......

it with a cute but grumpy False Clown Anemonefish! :p

Glad to see this rarely seen Echinothrix Sea Urchin at Pulau Hantu! Think it's my first time seeing it here.
Haha.....though it is a small patch reef, still I was not able to make one round around it before I have to surface for departure. Hope I can come back to survey the other half that I did not get to explore!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Quiet But Still Have Stuff To See @ Pulau Hantu.....

Okay, after hiatus of many months, I am back blogging! Haha.....I hoped so! Anyway, will try my best to blog whenever I can from now. :)
So, what shall I blog about? Hmmmm.....of course it has to be about my favourite activity, breathing compressed air in our seas! Thus, I shall start with last Sunday Pulau Hantu dive trip with The Hantu Bloggers!
As past experience told us, diving locally during this time of the year (June-August) can be quite challenging if you are not used to low visibility condition. Yup, the visibility does not go beyond 2m during this period. So on Sunday, we have about 1-1.5m of visibility at Pulau Hantu North jetty. Lucky for us, there wasn't any current. Not sure if it is due to warmer water during this period, critters count seen to be on a lower side. Nonetheless, we still managed to see some wonderful creatures!


There were lots of these yellow Doto nudibranch (Doto sp.) on the Hydroids! Some of them were even laying eggs! They are rather small but if you look carefully at the Hydroids, you will see them quite easily!

Another tiny nudibranch to look out for will be the Dermatobranchus nudibranch (Dermatobranchus sp.)! They are like white specks on the substrates.

Saw a tiny unknown Hypselodoris nudibranch (Hypselodoris sp.) too!

As usual, you cannot miss seeing the Blue Dragon Nudibranch (Pteraeolidia ianthina) as they were everywhere on the reefs.

You get to see bigger nudibranch too! Like the Black-margined nudibranch (Doriprismatica atromarginata)[Top pic] and the Slender Ceratosoma nudibranch aka The Godzilla (Ceratosoma gracillimum)[Bottom pic].



There are also critters to be found on Sea Fans or Sea Whips too! We saw the Gorgonian Wrapper Anemone [Top pic], Basket Star [Middle pic] and Allied Cowrie [Bottom pic]!


On the seabed, we came across Sea Pens,

Icon Sea Star,

and a orange Sea Cucumber! First time seeing this Sea Cucumber at Pulau Hantu! Usually sighted them mostly on our Northern shores.

We saw Flatworm[Top pic] and plenty of Ascidians[Bottom pic]

Lastly, two fishes (Tiger-tail Seahorse[Top pic] and Blue-spotted Fantail Stingray[Bottom pic])that I had a hard time shooting because they either hide underneath the pillar or inside the concrete pipe. Sadly, my camera setup was unable to go in between the gap to get a closer shot of them.
So let's hope that the visibility will improve next month and we get to see more stuff!