Sunday, April 27, 2008

I Would Rather "Hug" The Hydroids Than.....

Stung by this!!!

Yes, kena stung by Jellyfish at Pulau Hantu when out diving with The Hantu Bloggers today.:o(

It was damn painful (and still is) than the Hydroids! There were plenty of them around and I got stung at the ankle and it gave a burning sensation like when you are scalded by hot water!? Now I think I really should consider getting a wetsuit.....hmmmmm.

Anyway, we did two dives today. One at the South Jetty and the other at the usual West fringing reef. The vis was about 2-3m which was comfortable for me. And I have my fellow Semakau guide, ST, as my buddy with HB as our guide.

And here are the creatures that we have seen:

You will never miss an Icon Seastar at the seabed.

And other "Stars" like;

Cushion Star and

Featherstars/ Crinoids (Awake and Sleeping ones)

Flatworms of various sizes! From BIG, BIG ones,

to this teeny-weeny (about 5mm) that was found on a Sea squirt!

Also found this big Yellow Tigertail Seahorse among the rubbles

and its cousin, a small pipefish (in this case an Ocellate Pipefish) on the jetty's pillar.

Of course, no Hantu dive trip will be completed without sightings of Nudibranch.

Plenty of them, some look like in season too.

There's the Black-margined nudibranch(Glossodoris atromarginata), Two beautiful Emma nudibranch(Hypselodoris emma), Purplish Cuthona(Cuthona Sibogae), Yellow and blueish Tambja (Tambja sp.) and Two Many-lined nudibranch (Chromodoris lineolata)

ST also found this big juicy looking Nudibranch and it was having its Hydroid lunch.

This is one kind of Bornella nudibranch. It's Bornella anguilla. Unlike its cousin, Bornella stellifer that swim by a lateral flexion of its body, this guy swim like an eel!

But for me, the FIND of the day has to be this;

A Cowrie? Yes, a Cowrie. And think it is a Tiger Cowrie. must be wondering what's so special about this Cowrie right?

Here's why.....because of on all my intertidal and diving trips, I have never seen such a HUGE cowrie before! The ones that I used to see and the biggest was about my palm size(about 8cm-wrist to base of middle finger).

But this one? Gosh, it was bigger than my hand! This one is about 18cm from top-down in the picture (or take a piece of A4 size paper and fold it in half and that's how big this snail is)! Here's another look at this GIANT Cowrie!

And that really make my day!!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Another Year Of Waiting Then.....

Went out with The Hantu Bloggers to Pulau Hantu for their Earth Day Dive trip yesterday night. Yes, NIGHT, it is not a typo. Well.....why Night? Cos this trip was specially arranged to also check out coral spawning at our reef that was predicted to happen this week. And also the corals spawn at NIGHT lah!

It's a work trip and thus, we need to take pics of the coral that spawn and record the species, depth and time. So each buddy team was assigned to a transect line and we have to swim along the tape and check out for signs of spawning.

So we look at each coral every carefully.....

from this one,

to this one,

and this one

and many others! But alas, there's still no sign of setting corals by the predicted time and thus, no coral spawning yesterday night! Perhaps we have came in the early part of the week??? (But of course, hopefully they spawn for the rest of the week lah)

So it will be another year of waiting to see the spawning for me then!

Since the corals did not spawn, I swam about looking at other creatures of the nights.

There were lots of Flatworm.....

this Brown blackish one,

to this one with a green yellowish margin

and colourful ones too

Haha.....I guessed this crab was not happy with me disturbing it from having its dinner. See the grouchy look? :oP

There's also a small nudibranch (Gymnodoris sp)

and an Octopus hiding underneath a crevice. Can you see it?

Towards the end of the dive, I spotted a very pregnant Ocellate Pipefish among the zoanthids.

Ohh! And luckily I started off at the wrong transect tape (I missed my designated tape and went over to Debby's), for I get to meet Betsy, the Hawksbill Turtle, for only the second time in all my dives at Hantu! But.....she swam away before I could grab a pic. Later, Jeff managed to see her again and he got a very good frontal shot of her. And HB saw a Seahorse too!

Will be back on Sunday for the day dives, just can't wait to get into our water again!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day 08!!!.....

But let's not forget how FRAGILE our fauna and flora are.....

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ode To Cyrene.....

In the middle of a shipping lane
Lies a beauty named Cyrene
Uncovering her watery veil
Only few times in a year
Beneath the veil reveals
A beautiful place so thrill

Sandbar, Seagrass meadow and a coral reef
Upon which marine life depends

With Horses in the sea
Swimming through the luscious Green

Little fishes hide
Among the stony reef

And starry trails left on the sandy bar
Instead of the sky above

In the middle of a shipping lane
Lies a beauty named Cyrene
But for how long will her beauty last
Depend on the actions done by us

PS: First attempt at writing something poetry, so pardon me if it doesn't rhyme. :op

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Melibe At Cyrene!!!.....

Thank God that I went back to look at it when Sijie said that he had found a big nudibranch that looks like brown seaweed! :o)

It's the Melibe.sp!!!

We hardly get to see one as some of them really look like seaweeds. And we have been searching them for years!!! Thus, we called it our "Holy Grail" for nudibranch search too!

This is actually my second sighting of this nudibranch. The first being during a Semakau guided walk.

And here's a video of it swimming!

What a Great find!!! Thanks Sijie!!! :o)

And want to know what other stuffs were seen during TeamSeagrass transect at Cyrene this morning? are the links :

- Post by Vyna on TeamSeagrass Blog.
- More Melibe photos and other adventures on Wildfilms Blog.
- Sijie's post on his NatureScouter Blog.
- Kok Sheng's sighting of new seastar on his God's wonderful creation Blog and more.
- Budak puts his adventures here and here.
- Photos on my Flickr