Sunday, October 30, 2005

Looking Forward.....

Looking forward for next week.

Will be going to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve with Shuxian and Peixian on Tuesday (Provided the weather is good).

Going to Sister's Islands on Thursday and Saturday for Wildfilms trips. Has been a long while (about a year) since we last visited both islands. They were closed to public due to overhaul of their jetties.

Will have my first Chek Jawa guiding on Friday after almost 3 months break.


I Just Love It.....

Finally, have my FIRST dive at Pulau Hantu with the Hantu Bloggers yesterday. The weather was great, sunny all the way! :o) And stupid me forgot to apply sunscreen lotion again and you guess it, SUNBURNT again.....Ouchhhh!

The vis was about 2-3m. We went down in a small group of 4 with a Dive master. We explored the fringing reefs in the first dive. Saw a phyllidiidae, Flatworm, Filefish, Cushion Seastar and Sea Urchin. There wasn’t any current yesterday, so it was a very relaxing dive for me.

For our second dive, we went to the patched reefs and then made our way back to the fringing reefs. Saw nothing much for my second dive except a glossodoris atromarginata nudibranch and a few blur image of fishes.

A very enjoyable dive for me overall. I LOVE it!

Now getting more comfortable diving in low vis. Definitely looking out for more local water dive to come.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Yeah! It’s On Again…..

Good news! The organizer notified me that someone pulled out and she had given the vacancy to me :O)

So, here I come, Pulau Hantu!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Pulau Hantu…..Missed Again !…..

It seen that I still won’t be able to get a chance to dive at Pulau Hantu.

Just received an email from the organizer notifying that places for this Saturday dive trip have been fully taken despite that I have made a reservation 3 weeks ago.

When...When...can I have my FIRST Hantu dive??? Sigh....:O(

Now, should I sign up the other one on 5th November?

Monday, October 17, 2005

A Wet Day At SBWR.....

Spent yesterday at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve with Kah Chine and Alyce. Reached there about 9.45am after an hour of waiting for Bus 925 at the Interchange.

Was surprised to find out that there will be a guided walk (Cos it is difficult to get volunteer guide on Sunday). As our purpose for this trip is to get to know the Mangrove better (for our guiding at Pulau Semakau), we decided to join the guided walk.

And guess what? The guide, turned out to be Robert (he will be guiding at Semakau too). So we follow him and joked that we will be the nasty visitors. :OP

We learned about various mangrove plants and animals. However, the walk ended prematurely due to the rain. We spent an hour taking shelter at a hut before moving on to Route 1’s Hide to do some bird watching.

Robert introduced us to various kind of birds and taught us how to differentiate them. Initially, we had a hard time telling them apart because they all look the same. We even argued that there must be something wrong with Robert’s telescope :OP. But after careful studying, we managed to tell what are Red Shanks, Green Shanks, Wimbrels, Sandpipers, Pacific Golden Plovers and Mongolian Plovers. :O)

As the birds are standing in the rain, KC asked this question, “Is that why they get the bird flu because they are out in the rain?” !!! Mmmmmm.....

Then the rain started to get heavier and look like it will not be stopping anytime soon, we decided to call it a day.

Yah and one more thing, the Café at SBWR served YUMMY Chicken Chop! :O)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Time To Let Go…..

Think it's time to let go on certain things. :O/

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Why In The First Place???.....

Overheard this conversation in the Ladies today;

A: Feeling very bad that I have not bring him out walking for the last few weeks
B: Then bring him out lah…Walk to Blk XXX lor.
A: But Blk XXX is so far…

At this point, I thought A was talking about her KID. But.....

B: Actually, not very far if you are walking with your DOG what?
A: Ok lor…but very troublesome leh….go out then come back with dirty legs. Got to wash up.

!!!!! What kind of pet owner are you? !!!!!

was the question that crossed my mind.

Come on, if you think that bringing your dog to a short walk is troublesome, then don’t keep a pet in the first place. Sadly, I guess this is not the only case in Singapore. :O/

Make Me Wonder…..

Certain things happened today that make me wonder whether what I have contributed so far was worthwhile.:O/

Monday, October 10, 2005

Weekend At Pulau Ubin…..

As promised, I went for my Sensory Trail guiding at Pulau Ubin on Saturday. It’s good to be back on the island after a month of absence. :O) Ahhh….fresh air and the peacefulness!

I was assigned to a group of kids + one teacher from the Singapore American School. They are from the school’s Eco Club and were there to learn more about plants. We have a slow start as some of the kids were complaining about mozzies and ants getting into their shoes.

After a while, think that they got used to it and started to listen to my introduction to the plants. I got them to taste the Creat. Their reactions were expected. They spit out the leaf after the first taste for it is bitter. But they have fun and were amazed to learn that this plant is good for sore throat and flu.

As we move along, some kids, despite having awful experience with the Creat, kept asking me if there’s any more plant that they can taste. However, there wasn’t any (except the Blue Pea) for most of the plants required them to smell and touch. They got to smell the Citronella, Torch Ginger, Lengkuas, and Garlic Vine etc.

The branches of the Midnight Horror Tree fascinated the kids as they look like human bones. Some asked if they could have the “bones”. They also learned to differentiate between Jackfruit and Chempedek trees through their leaves.

In the later part of the tour, which is the Mangrove, they were briefed about the importance of it. I told them about using charcoals wisely for they came from the roots of the mangrove plant and cannot be recycled.

We ended the tour at the Wayang stage. Overall, I have enjoyed the guiding and hoped that the kids have learned something from it. :O)

Friday, October 07, 2005

Pulau Hantu Here I Come.....

Finally signed up the diving trip to Pulau Hantu at the end of this month.

Can't wait to see the nudibranchs that some of the divers saw.

Please let the vis be good on that day and of course the weather too.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Arrrrrrrrrrgh………. Dilemma !…..

Remember I said that I will go to Pulau Ubin this week?

Guess what??????

Just received news that there will be a diving trip to Pulau Hantu this Saturday.

Thing is, I already informed Nparks that I will be guiding for the Sensory Trail this weekend and I ready miss the island. Now this piece of news put me into a dilemma as I ready want to go for my FIRST dive at Pulau Hantu.

How? How? Ubin or Hantu? How I wish I can be split into TWO!!!

But a promise is a promise. So…..I will stick with it and give Hantu a miss this time.

Have been doing too many underwater trips for the past month and think should take a rest. Anyway, there is another Hantu dive trip at the end of this month and maybe I can make it :O)

Monday, October 03, 2005

Currents, Currents And More Currents…..

Back from diving in Pulau Dayang over the weekend. And man! What a trip! It was full of CURRENTS!!!

Experienced my first low on air (and hope to be the last) situation at the Pinnacle where I ended up sharing air with my Divemaster (DM) using his alternate air source. This happened as I have consumed too much air when descending down the line after I have a very tired surface swim to the anchored buoy (I even need the boat to pull me to the buoy). I was left with only 100 bars when I hit the bottom and used up another 50 bars quickly while fighting against the currents. I quickly alert the DM and he signal that I have to ascend with him.

As we had hit 20m, we need to do a 3 mins safety stop at 5m while drifting with the current. At 5m, my air was left with only 30 bars and that when the emergency procedures that I have learned during Open Water come into usage. Since I can’t do a normal ascent, the next best alternative is to use my DM’s alternate air source and of course provided that he has enough air for both of us to finish the safety stop. If not, I will have to do CESA. We ascended safely and now he joked that I owe him a life for taking half his air. :op And because of this situation, I did not get to see much except a Batfish that kept looking at me. Damn! I missed the chance to experience Pinnacle that is very BEAUTIFUL as the site can only be accessed when the conditions like weather and surface currents are suitable for diving. :o(

Besides the Pinnacle, I almost got swept away by currents and lost my group while diving at Rayner’s Rock the next day. We were all fighting against the current to get a right turn at a big rock. I was trying very hard to fin to make the turn but still the current swept me. Worst was that everyone except me had already made the turn. The current took me above the rock and as I was being swept, I can actually see the rest signaling to each other that I was lost. I saw my DM fighting againsts the current to go back to find me. Just then, I happened to see a protruding rock and I quickly grabbed hold of it. And guess what? The position I was at hanging for dear life was just right above where everyone stopped while waiting for the DM to come back with me. So I tried waving and banging my tank to signal that I was above but it seen that no one wanted to look up. Luckily, after about 2 mins of hanging on the rock and desperately doing all I can to get their attention, someone finally look up and saw me. After I regrouped, it was also time to ascend, as all were low on air while fighting currents.

Even though I had two terrifying situations, they will not deter me from diving again for the underwater world is ready breathtaking. See, they don’t call it BREATHTAKING for nothing. :o) This trip also managed to see more stuffs with my much improved buoyancy control ( We saw a Banded sea snake, lots of nudibranchs, Sea turtles, Moray Eels, Lionfishes and a juvenile Sweetlip etc) Mmmm….now….I ready need to get some improvements on my fining against currents.

I learned from these experiences and I know that I will tackle them better if they ever arise again. And yes, for this trip, I got some souvenirs from Pulau Dayang too. Nope…of course not corals that you must be thinking, but…………………………………………:

CUTS on the legs from rocks (while hanging for dear life),
Hydroid STUNG on right hand waist while looking at a Sea slug and
BRUISES on the legs with all the climbing up the boat’s stairs.