Sunday, December 30, 2007

Last Dive For Year 2007 @ Pulau Semakau

This morning, I went for my last dive trip of this year at Pulau Semakau. Part of the trip was to do CoralWatch.

What I need to do is randomly pick a coral that I come across and match the colour of the coral with the colours in a coral health monitoring chart provided. Then I have to record the type of coral lifeforms and the colour code that matched. So basically, it was part work and part leisure dive.

We started off diving at one of the patch reefs on the North-Eastern side of Semakau. We hit the seabed and what I saw was a THICK layer of silt(Now I finally know what Ivy meant that if you put one arm into the silt, it basically disappear)!

It took my buddy and I sometimes to find the patch reef. Before that, we came across a wooden ship wreck on the seabed. Here's a part of the wreck;

When we finally found the patch reef, the coral coverage was poor on the reef slope and there's lots of, you guess it, SILT! And very THICK! :o(

Here's some of the corals that I came across which were not cover with sediments;

For my first dive, I was doing my CoralWatch and thus, not many pics taken. And this is my last pic for my first dive;

An Ocellated Sea Cucumber (Stichopus ocellatus). A distinctive feature for this Sea Cucumber is the 'eyespots' on its body wall. The 'eyespots' are actually dark papillae surrounded by a white ring.

After the surface interval, we proceed to the fringing reef on the West side of Semakau. So here's the stuffs that I saw for my second dive;

The backside of a Filefish! :op

A Cushion Seastar!

Beautiful Flatworms!

The common nudibranch like Blue Dragon Nudibranch(Pteraeolidia ianthina) and Phyllidia sp.

The Gymnodoris nudibranch seen to be in season. There's lots of them!

While trying to take one of the Gymnodoris nudibranch, I found this guy on the rubble next to the one that the Gymnodoris nudibranch was on!

It is Phyllodesmium briareum! A nudibranch that feeds on soft corals and can stores one-celled plants(zooxanthellae) in it's digestive gland. The stored zooxanthellae can grow and photosynthesise and in the process, provide foods for this nudibranch. If you look carefully at the pics, you can see brown specks on the nudibranch's body wall and cerata, and that's the stored zooxanthellae.

And this was my 3rd sighting of this slug in our water. The last two being at Pulau Hantu and Pulau Salu. And it was found on Sentosa's intertidal too!

And lastly, I saw NOT one but FOUR Gorgonian/Sawtooth Shrimps on one Black coral(I think it's a Black coral lah or anyone can help with the ID?)!!!

Here they are. One big and three slightly smaller and thinner ones(pardon the blur pic);

A close-up of the head;

They look more colourful than the one I saw in Pulau Hantu.

Delighted to end my dives for Year 2007 in high note! Looking forwards for another good year of local water diving in Year 2008!

And Happy New Year to ALL!!! :o)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

what! 4 lucky....can u spot for me next time i dive with you.:P

December 30, 2007 10:38 PM  
Blogger Jeffrey said...

So who organised this CoralWatch dive? I'd like to see if I can get the data that is collected.

Cheers, Jeff

December 31, 2007 10:42 AM  
Blogger ~mantamola~ said...

oh...cushion star over at the west side of Semakau!

January 02, 2008 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MM : Ya, at the side where the guided walk is conducted. :O) So they are still there lah just abit deeper lor.

January 02, 2008 3:26 PM  

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