Aug 5, 2007

Chek Jawa Boardwalk Fiesta

This morning, a whole bunch of people were out at the Chek Jawa Boardwalk!

Dr Dan is in town! So at dawn, Kok Sheng brought those of us involved in his project to see Chek Jawa. Kok Sheng is doing a project to monitor the recovery of marine life there after the massive flooding earlier this year.

The tide wasn't very low and would be fast, so we head out early for a quick look.

Dr Dan came work out details in order to learn more about the recovery of Chek Jawa. Dr Dan has lots of ideas of how to do this, for now and in the longer term. It's quite exciting!
Siva tells me to take a photo of Dr Dan in his brand-new-Really-from-Panama panama hat as he looks so professorial in it. He does, doesn't he? I'm rather intimidated by it actually.

Kok Sheng shows us where some of the very few carpet anemones are found. We have to be really careful so we don't step on them. There are so few of them, we don't want to hurt any.Siva takes a closer look at a carpet anemone as we try to explain what we learnt from Dr Daphne recently on how to tell that it is a Stichodactyla haddoni (the tiny long-short tentacles).Siva says it's the first time he had to take his glasses off to look at something small. Haha! Sign of old age in the Maestro?...

As we headed back after checking out Chek Jawa, streams of visitors started coming onto the boardwalk. As usual, Siva takes the time to share more about Chek Jawa and the work done on it.We bring Dr Dan for a quick look of the boardwalk. At the pontoon, there were people getting off onto the sand flat. In a very dangerous way. Even though the tide was fast coming in!I hope no one got hurt coming back onto the boardwalk. Some of the people were poking things on the shore with a stick. Hopefully it's not one of the precious carpet anemones that is just coming back into recovery!

As we head back to House No. 1, MORE people wandering the shore even as the tide was coming in.Possibly, some sort of monitored access should be allowed to some portions of the high shore? So people can get a better feel of Chek Jawa at moderate low tides. It enhances the boardwalk experience and it seems, people will go down to the shore anyway.

After the session with Dr Dan, Kok Sheng and I headed off to meet up with the Naked Hermit Crabs who were already on the boardwalk.Here they are, one and a half hours after they first started, and not even half way through the mangrove boardwalk yet! Wow! I must have missed a lot.

The boardwalk indeed shows a different part of Chek Jawa that wasn't a part of the original intertidal walks.Mangrove habitats, butterflies, little birds and more!

And what a treat! The Naked Hermit Crabs meet Joseph Lai, the man who first brought Chek Jawa to public attention! Joe was there with his Earth-worms group to explore the boardwalk. He took some time to share important elements about the mangroves with the Naked Hermit Crabs. Thanks Joe!

Just as we were about to move on, Angie shouted "Banded Krait!"And indeed, there was a large one crawling slowly among the Nipah palms! Oh wow! One was seen during the boardwalk launch too (see the habitatnews blog entry on this). Is this the same one? So much still to learn about our mangroves and Chek Jawa. I didn't take a photo because lens not long enough. I'm sure someone will post a photo of it soon.

At the Chek Jawa boardwalk today we also met Ben Lee and the Nature Trekkers leading a group of visitors, the Semakau guides from the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, and many other familiar faces. It was an uncoordinated yet happy conjunction of the many people that were brought together by Chek Jawa. How marvellous!

By noon, some hungry, tired and hot naked ones headed back to Ubin town for some well deserved LUNCH!After a very fast disappearing lunch, we head home. Mei and Alyce stop to pick up some fresh rambutans sold off the back of a truck under the shade of the huge Assam tree near the Ubin jetty.On the way to the boats, I was struck by some of the many transport modes to and around Ubin!Trolley (shopping and flatbed), bicycle and boat.

Hot, tired but happy, here's an unusual view (for a low tide freak like me anyway) of Ubin at high tide.What a lovely end to an exhausting series of non-stop pre-dawn trips since last Saturday!

1 comment:

Goh said...

Oh gosh, the banded krait showed itself again!!! How cool! - peihao