Apr 18, 2007

Hot Sisters

It was another blistering hot Sunday afternoon as wildfilms and beachfleas headed out to visit Big Sisters, fast becoming our favourite island.

The visibility was incredible once again! Right at the jetty, overlooking the city, we could see the reefs in the blue blue water under the even bluer sky. There were lots of people at the jetty with lots of fishing gear. They didn't seem to realise how marvellous this clear water was.

In the swimming lagoon, the visibility was just as stunning! It looked like one of those tropical isles used in calendars and tourist brochures! The water was warm though, and I wondered whether the poor marine creatures would broil in it.

Amazing encounters included a busy sea snake that obliged Alvin with lots of footage of snaky foraging among coral rubble. Alvin had worked out a system to get underwater shots with the new HD. We wanted to call it D.U.C (damned underwater contraption) but thought the better of it, in deference to budak. It is quite an appropriate name though. The thing floats, is white and is fat like a duck. The contraption worked very well although it was hard on Alvin's back. Ron has a photo of the entire assembly including Alvin :-)

The day got way too hot for me, so I wimped out under the shady trees. Karyn was stalking the monkeys, and I startled a monitor lizard. Eventually, I just had a nap under the coconut trees. As the sun set and tide turned, we settled in to shoot the Finds of the Day.

The highlight were these delightful cartoonish nudibranchs (oops, Ron corrects and reminds that they are NOT nudibranchs). Called Euselenops luniceps, these are swimming slugs; yes, they swim! I only saw it once before, on Chek Jawa, a long time ago. Adelle found the first one, shortly followed by Chay Hoon finding another. And we found YET another one later on! These cute little slugs flap the sides of their bodies to swim about. Budak took lots of rather RA photos of them and as expected, tells us more about them.

Sijie found a Heart cockle (Corculum cardissa)! This is a clam, i.e., it has a two-part shell. It is really heart-shaped! The only other time I've seen one is at Pulau Semakau. A closer look reveals the pretty patterns on the shell.

Robert found a Land hermit crab (Coenobita cavipes) that refused to come out until I breathed on it, whereupon it lunged out and proceeded to pinch my fingers.

Ron has lots more photos and stories of our day on his tidechaser blog.

As we headed home to the boat at the jetty, we came across a hideous mess. Plastic bags, smelly leftover food, fish bait, wet tissues and other icky things all over the jetty waiting area!

Obviously from the group of fishing people we met on arrival. They had clearly tied up their rubbish in a big bag (the ripped bag was still attached to the railing), but the monkeys had raided the bag and strewn the contents everywhere. Budak has photos and more stories about this mess.

We knew we had to clean it up. Otherwise all the plastic would end up in the water and kill off marine life. Sea turtles often eat plastic bags, mistaking them for jellyfish. These turtles eventually die.

Everyone helped to scrape it all together, and piled the mess into open boxes and tiny dirty plastic bags. Budak clambered down to the shore under the jetty to get all the rubbish floating there. We dragged everything back to the mainland.

Hopefully, Sentosa will put up signage at the jetty reminding people to bring their rubbish back to the mainland (I mean, if they could haul it all the way to Sisters, they can haul the remains back, right?). Or at least put a monkey-proof bin on the jetty. Bringing the rubbish back is much better. Bins are rarely as monkey-proof as they claim to be.

7 comments:

CH / SONNENBLUME said...

The Slugs are ultra CUTE! If I could, I would spend hours just looking at them swim (Gosh! they do Back-stroke too) :O)

Wai said...

Lol! Sluggies... :)

juanhui said...

wah~~~ those plerobranchs look so out-of-this-world!!! wanna see 'em too~~

Wai said...

Yea there was some amazing vis over the last two weeks (at spawn watch over the good friday weekend, and over last weekend too). Sucks to be stuck in the office! :(

JC said...

Wow! the water are crystal clear!

The pleurobranchs sure look like some squid at 1st glance.

mantabuster said...

Sucks!

ria said...

Yes, it was a downer to encounter the rubbish left behind the earlier group. I guess they didn't know there were monkeys on the island?

Anyway, it's good practice to 'take nothing and leave nothing but footprints'.

It's our standard practice to take all our rubbish back with us to the mainland.

If all visitors did this, we would avoid marine litter which can kill sea turtles and other marine life.

Well, in the interest of our marine life, we took back the rubbish that was left behind by the other group.