Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fantastic Four @ Pulau Hantu.....

The Hantu Bloggers celebrates its Fourth Anniversary today. And what's better to make this Anniversary a GREAT one, other than to have Very Very GOOD Vis (abt 5m even at the seabed!) and FANTASTIC creatures!!!

So here are the highlights of the four FANTASTIC Dives;

First Dive : West Fringing Reef.
This dive was spent mostly at the seabed. As my volunteer dive guide(HP), buddy(JH) and I are SLUG freaks, we were looking high and low for them. And am glad to say, quite a few were spotted.

A Tambja sp.

A Chromodoris sp.

This one looks like a Chromodoris striatella.

A Hypselodoris infucata.

A Gymnodoris sp and a Phyllidia sp.

And of course at the seabed, one will get to see Icon Seastar!

From Big Big one to Small Small one.

Second Dive : South Jetty
This was the BEST, the BUSIEST and LONGEST dive of the day. Why????

It was because the creatures just kept being spotted by the guides and most of them/actions were my FIRST sightings!!! Basically, you get to hear tank banging every few minutes (indicating that things have been spotted). So much so, we were kept busy going from one spot to another to see/take pics of the creatures…..haha. And thus, I stayed down as long as my air permits.

This nudibranch was a first sighting for me. Think it is a Janolus sp. Its was moving pretty fast and in a way like a fat juicy caterpillar moves. Very CUTEEE!!!

The nudibranch, Chromodoris fidelis are in season I think. As we kept seeing them one after another in close proximity.

Here's a Hypselodoris bullockii bigger than the one that I had seen last year. It's a beautiful nudibranch with such nice colour.

We also got to see a species of the Gymnodoris nudibranch in actions. All FIRST sightings for me too! So here's what two Gymnodoris rubropapulosa did;

One was laying egg masses.....well the other was.....

eating another nudibranch!!! In this case, a Chromodoris lineolata. WOW!!! Finally got to see the feeding action!!! WOW!!!

Besides the nudibranch, there were also Flatworms!

and a Tigertail Seahorse

And now the creature that made my day....

FROGFISH!!! Spotted by Jimmy?!?!

I have seen them at intertidal (in fact, just two days ago at Semakau) but it was FIRST time seeing it UNDERWATER in OUR Reefs! FINALLY!!! lol

Sorry, but I have to do it again. Sooooo CUTEEEEEE!!!

Third Dive : North Jetty
We went to the Sea whips garden that I have wanted to explore again ever since last year's Slug fest trip. And this time round, we were able to do so due to the good vis again! lol

We were wandering around looking at the Sea whips for commensals. Just then, I heard HP’s tank banging. I swam across and he pointed to a white long stalky thing(about 30cm) in front of him that looks like this;

At that time, I was wondering why he wanted me to see a Sea whip when they are everywhere!?!?

Then it hit me.....the white long stalky thing is NOT a Sea whip! a white Pipefish!!! Gee....It just looked like a white Sea whip! Goosh.....isn’t it amazing!!!

Here’s a close up of its head;

And guess what? Not far from the first one, there was another! And this one, the belly was swollen! Wow! A Papa! Could the first one be the Mama???

A Pufferfish.

Hypselodoris bullockii( In different color and top one looks like there's a deform at the bottom of its gills)

And here's again another Two FIRST sighting nudibranch. One was spotted by HP on a Sea fan.

It's a Tritonia bollandi

and the other was a Chromodoris sp.

Fourth Dive : West Fringing Reef (Night Dive)
As the Sun sets, we rigged up and went for our Night dive. Due to the good vis, we were able to go to about 7m compared to last year at 3-4m.

The very first creature spotted was this Cuttlefish.

And after we left this one, another was spotted. Both were about the same size.

Flatworm. Quite a number of them were out and about.

One thing you won’t miss seeing on a night dive is crab! They were everywhere out of their hiding crevices.

And the last shot that I took before my batteries went flat. It’s a False Scorpionfish.

Other creatures saw were Arrowhead Crabs, Ocellate Pipefish, Ceratosoma nudibranch (Ceratosoma gracillimum), Hypselodoris nudibranch (Hypselodoris emma) and of course, lots of Featherstars out and about. The rest of the divers also saw other fantastic stuffs like Seahorse and Octopus!

Pulau Hantu surprised us ONCE AGAIN!!!

Thanks to Debby for organising this trip, HP for guiding, JH for buddy, Justin for lending me his pressure gauge(Mine leaked after the first dive) and all the WONDERFUL Spotters for the FANTASTIC creatures!!! :o)

Looking forward to the Fifth Anniversary!!!


Blogger Wai said...

:O love the nudi shots!

March 28, 2008 4:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Wai! :o)

March 28, 2008 10:05 AM  

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