Saturday, January 20, 2007


Finally, Semakau! Waited for 2 months since attending the lectures. Finally. Longban Diana's dad car to West Coast Jetty, was still worried that will arrived late and get another lashing. Anywayz, turned out we reached at 3pm. The earliest somemore.....

Began raining heavily when we got into our boat. Not bad, still got air-con =). Here Ron started an introduction session to let us know about each other (LEFT). On reaching semakau, he enthusiastically gave a short intro of it (RIGHT).

We stayed in the canteen for awhile to wait for the rain clouds to pass. My god, theres even a table-tennis table and pure native Semakau mangoes (but rather sour) to eat.

And so we set off. Here is our guide from NEA, Mary who was kena sabo to give a speech on Semakau along the bus ride. One she graciously accepted.

I would never have known this stretch of greenery was a landfill (LEFT). To my right, she told us about the replanted mangroves, 2 patches of them. One younger, one older.

Preparing the trek through the jungle (LEFT). Ron taking the lead, quickly disappeared from sight (RIGHT). I soon knew why after emerging to the inter-tidals. Mosquitoes!! Wakaoz, I don't remember seeing that much since my army days. Lucky my well grown leg hair offered some protection.

Eddie found a landmine!

And we began our exploration. So much to see! Finally saw the amazing tape seagrass lagoon. And alot of new encounteres...

Elbow Crab
The Elbow Crab, well camouflaged tiny ambusher. Strangely it didn't respond much when I touched it. Just flinched abit.

fan worm
A new fan worm design for me.

knobbly seastar Protoreaster nodosusknobbly seastar Protoreaster nodosus
Different expressions on seeing the nodular sea-star

The iconic Knobbly sea-star. Waa...finally I had the chance to see this. Damm big! Fiona just told me that it had a cuter name, the chocolate chip sea-star. Apparently the nodules looked like chocolates.

sandfish sea cucumberstonefish sea cucumber
The sandfish sea cucumber (LEFT), stonefish sea cucumber (RIGHT) and the freaking long synaptid sea cucumber (picture cannot make it, so took it off) . How to identify front from end? The head or mouth of cucumbers have tentacles for feeding while their anus, well, piss water when squeezing them.

Gymnodoris rubropapulosa nudibranch
Mm...think I'm better at tweaking pictures now! (Compare to e corals below). The Gymnodoris rubropapulosa nudibranch. Phew, finally saw the nudibranchs!

Jorunna funebris nudibranch
Polka Dot Nudibranch (Jorunna funebris)

So many first times. A Flatworm!

featherstar crinoid
Supposedly one of the finds of the day, a feather star. Class Crinoid and from phylum Echinoderm, their modified tube feet at the end of each branch, secretes muscus to capture food particles. They are suspension feeders. Many other exciting discoveries, huge cuttlefishes, cushion star, jellyfish, noble volutes which I dun have the luck to see.

The diversity of corals were amazing! Mmm...ok maybe because I haben been to much places to say this. Promised myself to ID more corals last time. And after hearing Ron said how he tweaked his photos, I attempted to do the, but din turn out very well, it was afternoon when I took at these pictures. Now it seems like night-time. Please tell me if I got any ID wrong and can help me with those question marks?

Symphyllia sp. and Disc Coral, Turbinaria sp.

Finger Soft Coral, Sinularia sp. and Omelette Soft Coral, Sacrophyton sp.

Brain Coral
Brain Coral???

Goniopora sp.

Flavid Boulder Coral

Heliofungia Sunflower Mushroom Coral
Sunflower Mushroom Coral, Heliofungia sp. Mushroom corals lie free on the substrate. This one is solitary with a single mouth.

Herpolitha Boomerang Mushroom Coral
Boomerang Mushroom Coral, Herpolitha sp. These dudes are colonial.

And so the walk was over and we had to take the heroic path (cos of the blood suckers) back to our bus. The hero among heros and aspiring teacher to be (BELOW).
Hero of the day

Great day and well spent today. Looking forward for future trips.

More blog entries from Ron, Juanhui and Samson

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