Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Day At The Wetland.....

With the Wildfilms trips coming up only on New Year's Day, I decided to join Alyce for a trip to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve this morning.

We have decided to do painting/drawing at the Reserve. So, came along with me were my Watercolour painting materials. Here's the piece I've done today.

A view of the mangroves with the Aerie hide.

Other than painting, we also took a short walk on the Mangrove Boardwalk. Here's some floras.

A giant Mudskipper seen here between the planks of the boardwalk.

There was also this strange looking snail on a Fish-tail palm. Anyone has any idea about the ID of this snail?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Slightly Better Vis.....

Today vis at Pulau Hantu was slightly better than last week. It was about 2-3m even though that the dive site was crowded again and the sky was overcast.

My dive buddy was Cynthia, a fellow wildfilms crew. It was her first local dive. She was pretty okay expect for some equalising problems when descending. But all went well and it's amazing that we managed to stay together till the end for the two dives. That's not bad for a first timer at Pulau Hantu. Just hope that the vis will not deter her from diving local again.

Though the vis had improved, I had a quiet day. So here's what I have seen:

My FIRST Allied Cowrie! Underwater I meant (Had seen them without diving, at East Coast before). I know this pic is not good, but can you see the elongated bump on the Sea whip?

The only Flatworm I saw:

No pteraeolidia ianthina(Blue Dragon Nudibranch) for me today! Strange! Nonetheless, still managed to see a jorunna funebris, a gymnodoris alba and the chromodoris fidelis again.

Mmmm....don't know why but it seen that our Nemo (False Clown Anemonefish) were a bit camera shy(at least for my camera) today. See this? This one only shows me its fin!!! Sigh....don't even want to give me some face. :OP

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Lao-Tzu Said.....

"There is no calamity greater than lavish desires.
There is no greater guilt than discontentment.
And there is no greater disaster than greed."

This qoute of Lao-Tzu, a Chineses philosopher, had somehow expressed my thoughts about the proposed third Oceanarium to be built at Marina Bay. :O/

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Anything To See?.....

Dive with The Hantu Bloggers at Pulau Hantu this morning. When we arrived at the dive site, four dive boats were already there conducting diving course. So it was a crowded day and somehow expected that the vis to be the same as my dive two weeks ago. Yes, the vis was about 1m (sometimes zero) today.

On my first dive, don't know why I have problem equalising. My right ear was feeling the pain as I descended. So I signal to my buddies (Ivy & Philip) that I have problem equalising and ascended. I waited at the surface to meet again but there was no sign of them (Later, Ivy told me that she thought that I have aborted the dive and that's why they did not surface). So, I decided to do a solo dive and stay shallow. And second dive was smooth with no equalising problem and we managed to finish the dive together.

Anyway, back to the question. Anything to see in such bad vis?

Of course there are! If you go about slowly (and with the help of a reef guide), you will see beyond the silts.

Didn’t encounter any new nudibranch today. Nonetheless, we still have the usual suspects.

Lots of jorunna funebris, pteraeolidia ianthina(Blue Dragon Nudibranch) and a gymnodoris alba.

Got stung by hydroids on my right arm when trying to take a pic of this big flatworm Philip found. I was just too excited to notice the hydroids near by.

An Ocellate Pipefish, False-clown and Tomato Anemonefish

Close up of a Fanworm.

Crinoid/ Featherstar hiding under a rock.

Corals, Corals and more Corals! Some with their tentacles out.

I like the pink ones. They look like little bouquet of flowers. Are they goniopora??? The orange one (a boulder coral) is so huge (a meter wide at least) that I felt like giving it a hug. For that size, It must be more than hundred years old (coral grows very slowly at about 1-2cm per year) and how strong it is to have been through the dramatic changes in our water quality all these years.

Will be back again at Pulau Hantu next week. Hopefully, the vis will turn better. :O)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Man Utd 3 Benfica 1.....

Thank God, history did not repeat itself this morning.

And a GOAL from Ryan Giggs! :O)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Part Of Me Died.....

Last week, I felt as if a part of me died. The news of STB's plans to develop six of our southern islands felt like a stab through my heart.

For someone who had spent almost all her weekends at these southern shores for the past three years, it was a bitter pill to swallow. I was simply lost for words and felt frustrated. It has affected me badly.

Why do we always have to be a copycat? Why do we have to try to be another Maldives or Dubai? Why can’t we be ourselves? Why do we always have to turn our natural places into artificial “natural” environments?

I am upset because islands like Kusu, St John's, and Sisters' are holding to our last few bits of natural heritage in term of plants and coral reefs that may be extinct or rare on our mainland. I am upset to see the destruction of the shores and greens if further reclamations are to be carried out.

What’s wrong with retaining the current state of the islands? I like the rustic charms, layback feeling and the natural environments the islands offered. I enjoyed every moments that I have spent at the reefs looking out for marine creatures. And no word can describe the sheer joy everytime we encountered new stuffs. And I bet other Singaporeans who have been to these islands would agree with me.

Maybe what STB could do is to improve the existing infrastructures, accessibility and the marketing of the islands. Don't be surprised that a lot of Singaporeans have never heard about these islands before. Make them known to more Singaporeans so that they know they have a choice to do over the weekends besides shopping and eating. They can go for picnic, camping or join a nature walk conducted by nature groups.

I was also dismayed to read that the developed islands will only be catered to the “Super Rich” tourists and the islands will only be accessible by private yachts. Now, where does that leave ordinary Singaporeans? Do you mean that we can no longer visit the islands? If so, I pity our future generations who will not have a chance to step on these islands unless, of course, they are some “Super Rich” men’s kids. I even wonder whether the “Super Rich” would bother about our islands when they are already spoilt for choice with similar resorts (some with pristine environments) in other parts of the world.

Also mentioned is the idea of having a man-made rainforest on one of the islands. For god’s sake, don’t you know that we already have a natural rainforest in the center of our mainland and it is accessible within 30mins from the city?

Please re-think about the development. Is it worth losing our priceless natural and cultural heritages?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Too Much!.....

Now I can't even take MC when I am sick! Gosh...this is too much!