Another early morning and TeamSeagrass were off to monitor one of the most special seagrass meadows in Singapore -- at Cyrene Reef.
Cyrene Reef is a huge submerged reef in the waters smack in middle of Jurong Island and Pulau Bukom (where major petrochemical plants and industries are located) and our container terminals. The Reef is also along the shipping lanes for huge container ships and other ocean-going vessels.We arrive at first light and after a small encounter with MPA officers who were very concerned that we might drown, we landed safely on the shore.And immediately set to monitoring. Joseph Lai was my partner today!In one of our monitoring locations, we found a baby Knobbly sea star! It was really tiny!Of course, we saw lots of different kinds of seagrasses. Cyrene has ALL of our seagrass species except for two which are generally found only in the Northern shores like Chek Jawa and Changi. All the different species was a big of a headache for two oldies like Joe and I with bad eyesight and having to juggle arithmetics of percentages.
We soon finished and had a little time to check out the rest of the shore.It got really hot by then. Cyrene doesn't just have fabulous seagrasses. There are also reefs with lots of hard and soft corals, and sandy shores with sea stars and sand dollars and little sand crabs. It's like a Chek Jawa in the middle of our industrial/port area!
Among the little treasures I saw were the little Blue Fishie again!And lots of other little fishies! Seagrasses are an important habitat for young fishes to shelter and grow up.Some fishies are really well camouflaged. Like this one which is possibly a dragonet but I really have no idea.While the others saw stupendous stuff, my only lame find was a rather lame Knobbly sea star with only four arms!Otherwise, though, it seemed quite healthy and happy.
Meanwhile in the distance at Transect 2 (which I siamed out of this time, using the tried and tested reason of being old and feeble), the rest of the team have found fantastic stuff!Weird sea stars, jellyfishes, seahorses were among the sightings.
Among the sightings: Siti cooling off in a pool of water. It was really hot. I stayed cool by doing the Carpark Auntie thing with my trusty umbrella.
Just as we were leaving Sijie finds the Holy Grail that wildfilms have been pursuing all these years. Yes, it was the Marvellous Melibe!! The animal is a giagantic nudibranch (about 15cm long)!Besides sheer length (which we are always impressed by), it has another special feature.An expandable hood-like thing at the front with which it traps and eats crustaceans!Here's a closer look at its awesome hood!Not only that, the nudibranch can also swim! Which it promptly demonstrated.It swims by undulating its body from side to side while upside down.Chay Hoon took a video of it in action and has uploaded it on her blog.
With all those distractions, we were a little late at the departure point and the tide was fast rising.As we all know, if you are late for any of our field trips....... we will simply leave you behind.
After all that hard work in the blistering sun and clambering and nearly falling off out of and definitely falling into boats, despite being wet and very slimy, we stopped for a well deserved lunch.And while waiting for the food the arrive, we share all the photos of our sightings. Amazing stuff!This is a rare photo of people with actual food infront of them. Usually the food vanishes almost the instant it is put down.
I'm going to slack off and leave it to the rest to blog about all the special finds of today...
Other blog entries about this trip
- A roundup of all the most interesting sightings on the nature scouters blog
- EVEN more sightings detailed on the wonderful creations blog
- Strange nudis and other sightings on the teamseagrass blog
- NEW stars on the wonderful creations blog and budak blog
- A new urchin on Cyrene on the budak blog
- Melibe swimming video clip on the colourful clouds blog