Monday, March 30, 2009

Awesome Dives @ Pulau Hantu.....

I joined The Hantu Bloggers for their 5th Anniversary Dive at Pulau Hantu yesterday. Wow! has come so far introducing and guiding divers about our water. Happy Birthday! :o)

And on this special day, the best birthday present received by the bloggers has to be the very, very, very (some said horribly) GOOOOOD VISIBILITY given by Mother Nature!!! It was about 8-10m!!!

When we reached the first dive site at the North Jetty, the first thing everybody wants to do was to rig-up fast and jump into the water. Why?.....Because we can see the the end of the jetty pillars (which's abt 9m below) from the surface! And when we were down at about 17m depth, it was still very bright and Debby commented it was the same at about 22m!

Enough said.....check out the vis below and the wonderful (and some new for me) sightings of what Pulau Hantu offers on this special day.

See the "Horribly" GOOD Vis?!?!

With Vis like this, it's much easier to take pictures of fish. Like the big fat Pufferfish that you see in the first picture. Here's a closer look at it.

and of course other fishes;

A Sweetlip.

We spotted a school of Sand-divers(?) swimming against the currents.

A Carpet-eel Blenny.

Of course, we are very happy to see the Tiger-tail Seahorse.

And a very, very tiny Pipefish.

And talking about fish, there another kind of "fish" that we came across. is the Cuttlefish! :p

From one as small as a golf ball,

to one bigger than a rugby ball. And this one was depositing her eggs into crevices of a nearby coral.

Plenty of Flatworms too!

We came across two Flatworms engaging in this kind of mating behaviour called penis fencing!

Flatworms are hermaphrodites. This mean that each flatworm has both male and female reproduction organs or in another words, produces eggs and sperm. So when two flatworms mate, they exchange sperm and both become fertilized. Some flatworms, such as the species in the above picture, engage in penis (it's the white pointy thingy that you see sticking out from the underside of the flatworms) fencing. The two will fight and try to pierce the skin of the other with their penises to be the first to inseminate the other. The loser will then have to carry and nourish the eggs.

And I was wondering if this pair of Allied Cowries on the Seawhip is mating too? Hmmm.....

Another critter that you can find on Seawhips is this Saw-toothed Shrimp. Haha...this guy looks like it was trying to balance on the thin whip.

There's this crab whose shell seen to be encrusted with corals. See the polyps?

Hmmm...this looks like a juvenile Cake Seastar. A good sighting of a different kind of Seastars apart from the commonly seen Icon Seastar below.

There were also Featherstars and on one of them.....

Wow.....first time seeing a Featherstar's commensal, a Squat Lobster, for me in local water!

Another first sighting for me is this beautiful marine snail during the night dive. It was moving pretty fast over the silty substrate. Hmmm....anyone knows the ID of this snail? The shape of it looks like cowrie to me....Hmmmm

Last but not least, my favourite! The Nudibranch!!!

Big fat juicy looking nudibranch like this Bullock nudibranch (Hypselodoris bullocki) was sighted.

Another juicy-looking Tritonia nudibranch (Tritonia bollandi)

The lovable "Godzilla" Ceratosoma nudibranch (Ceratosoma gracillimum)

In season Reliable Chromodoris nudibranch (Chromodoris fidelis)

This could be a Tambja nudibranch (Tambja sp.)

A very elegant-looking nudibranch. Looks like Red-lined Flabellina (Flabellina rubrolineata).

The Snakey Bornella nudibranch (Bornella anguilla) once again, can be seen having its Hydroid lunch.

While its cousin, The Orange-patterned Bornella (Bornella sp) was seen just laying around on the rubbles.

A few new sightings of nudibranch for me on this trip yet again. Like these Doto nudibranch (Doto sp.) on the Giant Hydroid.

And this Okenia nudibranch. Could this be a Purple Okenia (Okenia purpurata)? This one has about 5 gills....different from the ones sighted previously which have 3 gills. Hmmm...

But the highlight for me is this nudibranch. It looks like a Thecacera nudibranch (Thecacera sp.)

Wow.....another great anniversary dive! Looking forward to the Sixth! :o)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Macro @ Pulau Ubin.....

Macro....hmmmm...a way to look at Nature's wonderful details up-close. That's why I love to take macro as you will be awed by what Nature can offer you!

Was at Pulau Ubin yesterday doing some shooting to test out my DIY ring diffuser....can say am quite happy with the result. :o)

So here are the Nature's little wonders that I came acrossed:


With some spiders that were having their lunch,

but there's one who preferred to save it for a snack later.

While the Spiders were having a meaty meal, this Bagworm Moth junior likes a "vegetarian" meal of some Rododenron leaves. And you can actually hear it munching away the crunchy leaves!

Of course, there are plenty of insects;

be amazed by the rainbow-coloured Tiger Beetle,

and awed by this Lichen look-a-like Hopper.

Ahhhh...and how can we not take some close-up pics of beautiful and colourful flowers!

It was indeed a good trip with all these wonderful sightings!