Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Festival Of Lights At Pulau Hantu.....

This morning on Deepavali Day, I was invited by Debby of The Hantu Bloggers to a special dive at Pulau Hantu. And we got a chance to dive the reefs near the Southern Jetty and Northern Jetty of Pulau Hantu instead of the regular Western reefs.

First dive, the Southern Jetty. After we made our descent, the first thing that came to my mind is "Wow!...but wait a minute, I am at Hantu right? Not Tioman...but why is the vis looks like I am in Tioman?"....Yes, the vis is about 8m at the depth of 15m and it was still very bright!!!! So can you imagine if it is bright sunny day without the haze? And why am I so surprise is because, usually it is already quite dim at the depth of 12m for my past dive trips at Hantu. And the second dive at the Northern Jetty was also with a good vis of about 4-5m at the depth of 9m. Could it be because today is the Festival of Lights?

Look at the VIS!!! So Good!!!

In additional to the good vis, we saw a lot of stuffs too!

First the Nudibranchs:

The big white one with yellow rhinophores is a phyllidia sp. Of course, there's the Blue Dragon Nudibranch. The one that has a batik pattern body with orange projections is bornella anguilla (1st time seeing it!). There's a lot of the tambja sp (yellow with blue rhinophores and gills one) and cuthona sibogae (purple body and yellow projections) today too. I then saw the dermatobranchus sp (white body with some brown dots and brown rhinophores) again. And I finally got a pic of a small jorunna funebris (White with black polka-dots)

Then it's Flatworms Galore!:

Of course, with such good vis, who can miss out the fishes!

There's the giant goby and two Six-banded Anglefish!

Last but not least, the Icon Seastar.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A Plea By A Gentle Giant.....

Hi, I am a gentle giant currently swimming in the BIG BIG Ocean on this Blue Planet that we shared as home. Recently, I overheard the news about the intention of building the world’s LARGEST aquarium by one of the Integrated Resort bidders on an island called Sentosa in Singapore. And to which, it will house some of my species to allow human beings to snorkel and dive with.

Now, that I fear. I feared that I would be the one being captured and force to live in that glass tank the size many million times smaller than the Ocean that I am now in. I feared that I would not get any more chance to savor my favourite and delicious planktons from the Indian Ocean, which I am currently making my way there.

You think this is “Uniquely Singapore” for it will be the LARGEST aquarium in the world. Oh, please hear me out; I don’t think this is anyway unique for there are already in some countries, having similar glass tanks, housing some of my long lost relatives. So what it will be the world’s LARGEST? Don’t you see that the world’s TALLEST building gets replaced every other year? So, you can foresee that it may get replace by another world’s LARGEST aquarium in the near future as human beings will not stop at what they have already achieved. This means that sadly, more relatives of mine will be captured if this kind of competition does not STOP.

You said that by housing some of my species helps in the efforts of conservation, educate the young human beings about our plight in the wild and generates money that goes into researches that help human beings understand us better. May I ask what’s there about conservation when our life span is being cut short because we are not used to living in such cramped space? Then what? Getting more of us to fill the shoes of the dead relatives?

Perhaps, have other things instead of an aquarium to attract the crowds. Make it truly “Uniquely Singapore”. I bet your human’s mind could come out with something more creative than a glass of water right? And of course, if you truly care about the conservation and education on us, you could invest in good publicity by sponsoring NGOs who are educating your young ones about protecting the ocean (thing likes not creating marine rubbishes and how), my home.

Nothing has been carved into the stone yet. So please reconsider the idea of having us swimming in that glass tank.

Yours truly,

A Whale Shark Who Wants To Be Swimming FREELY In The BIG BIG Ocean And NOT Some Glass Tank.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

What A Dive At Pulau Hantu!!!.....

This morning dive with The Hantu Bloggers at Pulau Hantu was wonderful! And WOW! Pulau Hantu never fail to amaze me once again. Forunately, my camera also came back in time from servicing to capture the wonderful stuffs.

Firstly, Look at the Vis.....a good 3-4m I would say.

Then, it's a Slugfest! So many Nudibranch spotted today. Here are some tiny ones (the biggest is about 2cm). And because of this, some pics are OOF as my skill for macro still needs improvement.

The yellow spotted one is a gymnodoris sp. and the one hanging on the edge is a dermatobranchus sp. The yellow one with blue rhinophores and gills could be a tambja sp. And the red and white one is a first sighting for me at Pulau Hantu which is a chromodoris fidelis. There's also a tiny jorunna funebris but no pic for it.

Besides the tiny ones, there are some larger Nudibranchs which are commonly seen at Pulau Hantu too.

Here's the usual Blue Dragon Nudibranch and also lots of phyllidia.

Other than Nudibranchs, there's also the fishes, fanworms and a crab.

A very very good dive today I must say. Somemore, I was allocated with 2 volunteer guides (MingSheng & Howard) whom I managed to follow from start to end because of the good vis. :O)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Pulau Ubin In Watercolour.....

Over the past few days, managed to finish a few pieces of small scale (15cm x 10cm) watercolour paintings of Pulau Ubin's landscape. These landscapes are from some of the photos that I have taken on Ubin over the years.

Mangrove along the Sensory Trail. There's used to be a small boat in the pond but is no longer there now.

This is one of the many sluice gates that you can see on Ubin. It's usage is to control the amount of water that is allow to flow in or out of the pond.

An old house along the bank of a pond.

A villager fishing.

Have also re-done two old Chek Jawa paintings in small scale. Making some changes in the texture of the rocks too. Here's the rocky shore

and the beacon at the coral rubbles.

Would definitely like to paint more if I have the time. :O)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Shopping, Shopping.....

Took half-a-day leave to send my camera in for service yesterday afternoon. And looks like it won't be back in time for my next Hantu dive. :O/

After leaving Canon's Service Center, decided to head over to Bras Basah Complex since I have the rest of the time free and I rarely have the time for shopping.

Went to Art Friend to replenish some brushes and some of my dried-up watercolour tubes. Bought a pad of postcard size watercolour painting paper which is just the right size to fit the wooden frame that I got from IKEA. Also managed to get a box of Acrylic paints for just S$6.00 which I will use it to paint the wooden frames.

Afterwhich, went to Popular and happened to come across this book, <<左手的快乐>>, by 梁文福. It's a collection of short stories. Quite good for light reading so decided to buy it.

Then head back home but before that, I still need to get a thumb drive for files transfer. This is because the new Apple Macbook's optical drive somehow just refused to read the CD burned by my PC and also seen to prefer reading certain brands of CD.

Quite a fruitful day of shopping I would say but of course, that means less money in my bank. :OP