Jul 22, 2008

Another Cyrene Walk

6am and we're back on Cyrene with new friends.Another successful landing! Siva has upload a great video clip of the amphibious landing with a 360 degree view of Cyrene Reef, and the taking of the obligatory traditional group photo.

Today our first-time guests are Ryan and Edwin from the "I Want to Go to Cyrene" facebook group who submitted this post about Cyrene, and who learnt about Cyrene at Reel Revolution. And Aubrey and Jia Chien participants of the Reel Revolution effort. As well as Mingjuan and Chai Joo of Cicada Tree Eco Place. We are also joined by James from NParks, and Siva and Airani from the Raffles Museum as well as of course the Naked Hermit Crabs.
Just a few steps onto Cyrene and we are already fascinated by the sand dollars and sea stars at our feet!
With help from Robert and Andy, we soon find the Knobbly sea stars and long-spined black sea urchin, amidst the colourful colonial anemones and other creatures of the coral rubble.As Andy shared about the sea urchin, I desperately hunted for the Nemo anemone.And I found the nem! And today, we saw a little bit of the tail of the anemonefish! Ryan asked lots of interesting questions about anemonefishes too.The young ladies from Reel Revolution are diligently recording all our finds!And Jun walks ALLLL the way from the other end to show the group the same cushion star that we looked at yesterday.She shared about this special star as well as the white sea urchin that were plentiful at the area where she was at.

Meanwhile, Andy has found a carpet anemone with a pair of anemone shrimps!We all take a closer look at it and at first it's hard to spot the shrimps as they are rather transparent.
This is the mama shrimp. She is bigger and has more white spots.We come across another sandy patch full of common sea stars! Behind us in the shipping channel, a huge ship transporting cars passes by.We quickly had a look at the reef before the tide turned. And Mingjuan spots a cuttlefish! The deeper water is full of hard and soft corals and all kinds of other strange creatures.The hard corals are found even quite high up on the shore among the seagrasses.

The seagrasses near our landing point is just teeming with baby Knobbly sea stars!I couldn't help taking lots of photos of them.They come in all colours and patterns!The seagrass meadows are really a nursery for all kinds of animals. These are the white ribbon-like egg masses of possibly a nudibranch.And another egg mass with tiny coils of eggs, laid on a seagrass blade.We saw a really tiny butterflyfish! This is the tiniest one I've ever seen.
And among the seagrasses, a Blue dragon nudibranch (Pteraeolidia iantinia).Further along, Chee Kong spots this small Melibe nudibranch! Andy also spots the big Dendrodoris that we saw yesterday, and Chee Kong finds a purple Nepanthia sea star.

As we gather to go home, the team share this special find by Chay Hoon.I have no idea what it is! It may be another first record! We'll have to wait as the experts are consulted. Fabulous! (Update: Chee Kong just updated on the identity of this fabulous snail).DHI is on the reef for this low tide. They swim back to their boat! I always tell our party that if they are late for the tide, they will have to do this too.

On the way back, we take a quick look at the activities on the shores of the West Coast.Huge oil rigs are being worked on.As well as a really enormous ship with strange contraptions on it.I think this is what they call a 'rust bucket', being towed into the working area of the West Coast shore.And the Polytechnic people were out on the water today.

It was great weather again, thanks to Melvin. Unfortunately, Melvin is not feeling too well today. We hope he gets better soon as we can't go to Cyrene without him!

Over the last two days, the "I've Been to Cyrene" buttons were launched!Everyone who goes (and survives to return) gets one!

If you want to go to Cyrene, simply join the blogging contest! Hope to see you on Cyrene!

More about what was seen on Cyrene on Kok Sheng's wonderful creations blog with really gorgeous photos of the sunrise, more stars and other exciting finds.


Anonymous said...

Cowrie is cypraea walkeri. It's been recorded, but live shells aren't common these days. Empty shells common along ECP.

ria said...

Thanks for the ID!

Shiteater said...

Bull shit!