The Blue Tempeh
DIVING SISTERS, BURAN, KUSU & HANTU.
One day. No. More like 6 hours. If you exclude travel time. Four dives. Sites? Sisters' Island
, Buran (again, to finish up yesterday's unfinished survey), Kusu Island
and Pulau Hantu
. But with great vis prevailing...(THREE METRES!)...I'll make the sacrifice...HAHAHA!
We did not do a survey here, but mostly helped Priscila collect her settlement tiles from her experimental rack. See HERE
for more of the Marine Biology Lab's projects, albeit a tad outdated.
But from what I know, the reefs of sisters island is actually quite nice. Some parts nicer than others of course. While the deeper reef slopes of Sisters has rather nice seafans, the shallower parts has rather nice corals! Big table corals, boulder corals and rather diverse too in terms of coral species, I must say. Would love to go there for proper leisure dives...well, actually, depends on where you go. I mean, there ARE parts of the islands' reefs that are quite rubble-ized and in a very sad state. We can only hope that there is a way to rehabilitate them back to even a fraction of their original natural glory, man. Sigh. Sigh.
Here's a few photos taken by Tse-Lynn from today's dive:
Bubble coral! (Euphyllia divisa)
BURAN REEFS, day 4
"Oh, window to dive here only one hour."
"Should hurry up and dive now."
"Got a bit of current lah, but if you faster go, should be O.K."
These were the wise words of the boatmen. Which, as usual, is as true as the sky is blue. GAH!
Currents were EVEN STRONGER THAN YESTERDAY'S!!!!!!!!!!! Need I say more. I could not stay still long enough to take any photos. The currents were so strong, when we reeled back the transect tapes, we just FLEW and had to hang on for dear life every few metres. The currents were so strong it twisted and knotted the tapes so badly....and we had to hang on so tightly...that I just bunched up the whole 25m of tape all tangled around me up to the surface. No time to unknot and reel back properly. The current was so strong that whatever rocks I held on too, would sometimes get ripped apart or overturned if it was not heavy or firmly attached to the ground. It was at LEAST 1.5 knots. AT LEAST. I think it was probably 2 knots. Then again, I don't really know how fast it is. Judging from how fast i travelled...and the speed of the algae pieces that are flying past, that's how strong the currents were....OK so enough about Buran already. It's finally OVER. HURRAH. Although. Quite sad. It is a VERY nice place to dive with LOTS of nice stuff....
T'was my turn to do my work at KUSU. Kusu is probably one of my most favourite favourite favourite dive site. It's diverse coral life, even table corals! And sooooo many cute anamonefishes, nudibranchs, soft corals...etc etc and generally nice reef topography make it one of my favourtite favourite favourite dive sites. I've said that already haven't I. Oh well. IT IS my favourite favourite favourite most dive site!
My favourite favourite favourite most dive site...
False Clown anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris).
Hmm... do you ever notice that actually, the ANEMONES are also VERY VERY NICE. Eventhough there's no clownfish inhabiting it? The florescense...the swaying movements...HYPNOTIC!
Anemone up close!
Kusu is also home to....
Corals and butterflyfish.
Hmmm. I think if anyone does anything to harm Kusu more than it has already suffered........GrrRRrrr....
Hehe. What is there to say about Hantu but...fantastic... simply magnificent. Amone all the 4 sites, Hantu had the best vis. It was probably at least 3m. The rest of the sites had vis about 2.5 - 3m....At most. Hantu is GREAT.
The currents were again strong by the time we dived Hantu and did not manage to take any nice shots. But you can always go to the home of the Hantu Bloggers
for all the photos and info you need about what you can expect when diving Pulau Hantu!!!! So go. What are you still doing here? GO GO. Shoo! See Debby's site. ALL ABOUT THE PULAU HANTU. Yeaps. All about it....
BURAN REEF, day 3 & SAINT JOHN'S REEF
........................As I was saying. There are BAD days. And today, the currents are even worse than I've ever experienced while diving in Singapore waters. Makes the "Superman Currents" two days back seem like a stroll in the park...or a swim in the baby's pool....or just plain easy. Apparently, the window for diving THIS particular site of Buran is only about an hour...$%^&@*&$
But it was exciting. Things that went through my head as I was doing the deep transect was:
At Transect 1: "Wah, the seafans and seawhips quite nice, ah."
At Transect 2: "Wow...the seafans are getting more colourful...ooohh and bigger too!"
At Transect 3: ".......I wonder why...."
At Transect 4: "BASKET BASKET BASKET BLARDI...............................HEEEeellLLLLlll...!!!"
As I let go of a rock I was hanging on for dear life, I flew...literally FLEW...back really fast....Almost banged into Tse-Lynn who also flew past me soon after.
Despite all that, we still managed to take a few photos. Hey, who could resist. We've decided at Buran is macrolife haven. Fighting against current, we bring you these photos that Tse-Lynn took:
And all this was taken in the midst of doing work and current...so can you imagine if you were doing a leisurely dive and had time to actually LOOK for things! HmmmMMmmm.....
SAINT JOHN'S REEF
Well, that was actually the more exciting half of the day...which was the second half. The morning dive at Saint John's reef was rather uneventful. Just helping Priscila do her stuff and then Tse-Lynn mucked about and took a few photos...Oh, forgot to mention that the vis was again...GREAT...about 2.5 to 3m. Slurp.
Anyway, although this part of Saint John's (near the jetty) is quite infested with Sargassum
along its reef flat and reef crest, the reef slope area is rather free from it and can prove to be quite a pretty dive site. With many many nice corals and other friendly creatures!
Big big Diploastrea coral.
Bubble bubble bubble!!! Coral! BUBBLE CORAL! (Pleurogyra)
Witch's nose coral (Mycedium).
Oh, and on the way to Buran Reef, we also saw THIS! A barely alive Trevally with a sizable chunk off its mouth area. Big shark. Big shark. Remember the rather larger remora the boatmen caught....Shark...Shark....Drool. Never seen one while diving in Singapore before. Mmmmmmm.......
The poor thing was barely alive...
BURAN REEF, day 2.
Remember what I said yesterday (see past log)? Well, TODAY is the total opposite. I love my job. I love the sea. Not that I didn't love it yesterday, I just love it MORE, today. It almost felt like a leisure dive today if not for the fact that we WERE doing work...
Big boulder corals and overhangs, nice small pretty corals and little crevices at the reef crest. And big colourful gorgonians and sea whips at the reef slope. Great place. Georgous.
Big Platygyra coral.
And the macro life is great too! Oargh! If only could stay a litttllleee longer to just take photos of all of it. We saw.....
We also saw SEAWHIP GOBIES!!! These shy gobies are found along seawhips, either camouflaged or doggedly dodging you to the OTHER side of the seawhip. Irritating, I know................But still exciting!!!!
Oh look, there's TWO of them...so cuutteeeeee...
Closer shot of the goby (Bryaninops amplus).
Here's some other things we saw during the dive:
A cushionstar we did not sit on.
Rather large graze marks from suspectedly rather large parrotfish...
Colourful seafan at the reef slope!
.....And BIG ones too!!
And just as we were reeling back the tapes, under a pretty overhang like this...
Pretty ain't it...
...and in a crevice under this....
Scaaarrryyyy....My face was not spared...
....I saw these 2 antennas...AND THIS!!!
My stinging sacrifice was well WORTH IT!
Too bad for the backscatter...well, WHO CARES! It's a damn lobster!!! And with that, we ended our dive feeling very satisfied indeed...
Oh, did I ever tell you that our boatmen food is FANTASTIC. Dhal and eggplant and fish in special sauce and fried chicken wing and fried ikan bilis and FRIED TOADFISH...with rice. DELICIOUS. MARVELLOUS. GLORIOUS. F.O.O.D. I shall stop this now because I am about to drool...Oops, too late. Damn.
Anyway, let me tell you more about the FRIED TOADFISH. Tender, juicy, milky, smooth meat. Oh, the taste and texture. So...so...MMmmmMMMmmm. The boatmen actually told us it was GROUPER and not the TOADFISH they caught the previuos day. Only after it's all gone and we were licking our fingers clean, then they told us. Probably 'cos they thought if we knew, we wouldn't eat any of it. Yeah right, I eat everything. Especially if it's THAT good. TOADFISH. Will never look at it the same way underwater again..........
DIVING MIDWAY & BURAN REEFS.
Hmm? What's that?? What sort of conditions do we dive in you ask? Well, to begin with, cloudy days are not suppose to stop us from doing work. Yes. I mean dark clouds like THIS:
Well, it wasn't that bad until it started RAINING:
Well, the rain didn't last THAT long. The superman currents did though. And the horrible surge. So essentially today's dives were 100m surveys at two depths and two sites, two hours long each, AGAINST superman currents and horible surge in cloudy and rainy weather. How sweet, eh? Plus I got stung by some unknown marine creature while doing horixontal rock-climbing underwater against the current. And for the first time in my dive history, I puked while doing a survey. But the vis was quite O.K. though! At least 2m!
Buran Reef is a patch reef located off Sentosa which is only visible during low tide. During high tide, the only thing you'll see is the green and yellow marker buoys indicating where the reefs should be.
Nice big Porites sp. coral.
Other than the few large boulder corals encountered, the site has mostly been rubble-ized. Rubble rubble rubble, algae algae algae. Well, at least the site we surveyed. But...oh my gawd...it's ANEMONE HEAVEN. WALLS and WALLS of anemones and large boulders just COVERED by anemone. And all that cute anemonefish!!!!
An anemone wall. No scale here. But it's big.
Would have loved to take more photos and stake out an anemonefish, but...you know. Don't make me repeat it.
Also saw nudibranchs and this giant filefish (the biggest I've ever seen ever!) which I didn't manage to take a photo off.
Anyone know the species name for this?
Located just off Sentosa Cove, Midway Reef is also a patch reef, in the middle of nowhere. Located near the channel where big huge gigantic cargo carrying ships, it isn't much of a reef left...at least where we dived. But the seafans at the deeper end were really quite beautiful, not to mention colourful!
What greated me when I reached the reef crest.
Loads of lizardfish and gobies too.
And the long day ended soon after. Oh, and meet one of our boatmen...hehehe...
Sharq the man!
THE DAY OF CORAL SEX TALK!
Today was the day the Sex-ed GURU, James
would give his special talk on the WHO, WHAT, WHY, WHERE, WHEN and HOW corals do IT
. To enlighten us common-folks to the beauty of the coral orgy, and teach you tips and tricks in the coral kamasutra that only he and a few previlaged others know about. YES, my friends, the DAY has arrived!
, our Public Talks officer, left first with all our precious loot for fund raising and Ria's
wonderful posters boasting our rich and beautiful marine life here at our own Southern Shores
The rest of us arrived at SIF
where the talk was going to be held soon after. We got to seting up the booth, displaying the posters and preparing the handouts in a matter of minutes! MINUTES! M.I.N.U.T.E.S.!!!!! Impressive eh...
We were suppose to sell the squeaky marine themed toys that had been donated to us and the Chek Jawa guide books
. And yes, proceeds of all sueaky toy sales will go to the Blue Water Volunteers (BWV)
Our fund raising booth full of marine themed squeaky toys! Have you gotten yours yet?
The posters and Ria and Dionne.
...and...more posters, with coral survey results! Ain't it niceee.....
Before the talk started...
Even before 3.00 p.m., people started streaming in for James' talk. Must be the free porn. Everyone helped in the giving away flyers and talking to people about BWV and marine conservation. And even Weisong, our self-admited slave-on-loan from the RMBR Toddycats
, came down to help set up and mend our booth!
Toddycats slave on loan to BWV.
By 3.15 p.m., the Asia room soon filled up and the James began his sex-ed talk. The talk covered the basic of the basics, such as what corals are, where they can be found etc. To the basics of what sex means to corals and which coral can have sex with which coral and what happens after the coral sex and what coral babies look like and where do coral babies go to and things of that sort. A regular science class, with a twist.
Start of the sex-ed class.
Then he went on to talk about Singapore. And how corals in Singapore, unlike Singaporean humans, are still extremely active in their baby-making rituals. While some corals have sex and make babies all through the year, other corals concentrate their resources for a mass orgy once, or maybe twice, a year. The biggest orgies occur in April, but smaller ones have been observed in October as well.
Corals too need the correct MOOD for this sort of thing. The most romantic period, according to corals, is usually 3-4 days after the late March or April full moon. The moon bright and roundish in the night sky when the sun has set, preferably 8-10 p.m.
So if you perverts and voyeurs out there want to peep on these corals making out, remember the conditions above, and you would hopefully see coral spawn...
James gave his excellent talk on CORAL SEX next....
The GURU was so knowledgable and inspiring that we also see some of our audience taking NOTES. Yes, taking N.O.T.E.S.
Diligent audience taking notes, while.......
......Ria just got excited with the coral porn!...And made ABBY eat plastic cuttlefish (see girl in background).
The talk soon ended after a show of really magnificent slides of coral spawning which James
never showed us before. Dionne
then promptly thanked James and presented him with a token of appreciation.
Fantastic talk James! Oooh.. that's US!! Well, most of us anyway.
We then mingled and talked to our guests while some of us tried to sell them squeaky toys for our fund-raising. Although not successful, we hope that we've talked to quite a few people today...
Dionne, our Public Talks Officer in action.
........and hope that next time, some kind-hearted soul will adopt FUGU, the death pufferfish, and give him a better home. And at the same time support our efforts in trying to conserve Singapore's rich marine life...
FUGU for SALE.
OTHER THINGS WE DID DURING THE TALK...
"SAVE ME!" squeals the cute anemonefish.
.........and THIS: HI GUYS, meet GILIAN, our Public Exhibitions Officer! Isn't she sweet? Aw.
And...Abygayle ****-Ng Pek Kaye (a.k.a Abby)
Oh, here's Gilian again...Aw. So shy.
And Gilian again...up close...and...urm...closer...
a movie by Abby and the Fried Tempeh:
CARL the CUTTLEFISH in...KILLER WHALE VS. GREAT WHITE SHARK
"Lalalala, I'm swimming in the sea...I'm Carl the cuttlefish so delicious and yummy..."
As the little cute cuttlefish swim in the big blue ocean, two large predators happen to spot it.
Shark: GARRRRR!!! I shall EAT that cuttlefish!
Killer whale: MmmmMmm....that cuttlefish looks rather tasty, I say.
Killer whale: !!! !!! !!!
Shark: He's/she's/it's MINE!
Killer whale: NO!!! MINE!
MINE!!! NO MINE!!! MINE!!! NO!! Let go!!! OW, you got one of my tentacles!! Sharks have no tentacles?!!? NOO!! You got MY tentacle, THE CUTTLEFISH!!! LET GO!! YOU'RE MINE!! NO! You're MINE!! *&@#$%^
Shark & Killer whale together: NO!! MIINNEE!!! (slow-mo here)
The shark and the killer whale BOTH lunged at the squid at the same time and....
....as they lunged forth, they collided into one another and due to the play of forces, pressure and other unknown factors, the cuttlefish got spit out of their mouths and the shark and the killer whale, sunk their teeth into one another instead...
AND...CUT!!!! And THAT's how the CUTTLEFISH that we are selling to raise funds for the Blue Water Volunteers has only SEVEN arms instead of EIGHT. Count it the next time we have a booth. Really. No kidding.
Everything that you see and read here is purely fictional and hold no facts whatsoever. Except that the CUTTLEFISH we are selling, DOES have seven tentacles instead of eight!!
.......everthing ended and we're all packed up and ready to go.....Till next time!
SEEYA ALL NEXT TIME!!