The Blue Tempeh
Friday, October 22, 2004

"Don't wanna dive. Don't wanna dive. Don't wanna dive. Hope the boat's spoilt so we don't have to dive. So much work. Want to stay dry today...................................."

Well, that was how Priscila and I felt in the morning.

Work dives.


Plus Hammerhead is so sucky to dive off. Slippery ramp. Ladders so diver-with-heavy tank-and-weights-and-equipment unfriendly. Yuck yuck yuck. YUUUCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKARGGHHHH!!!!!

Swung over to Saint John's to pick up James (coral sex guru) and off we went to KUSU first. While I did my stuff, James went to check whether the Acropora coral colonies had EGGS in them. You know, whether there'll be the smaller orgy sessions this month (check past log on CORAL SEX). Hehe.

Apparently out of the 30 colonies he checked, only ONE had eggs. He just returned from an egg-finding tour around Indonesia with Andrew Baird (Coral sex maha-guru). VOYEURS! It's PORN on an INTERNATIONAL scale. HAH. O.K. This is just my jealousy talking.

Anyway, back to KUSU DIVE.

My mind was so not ready to dive. FINS almost overboard, TANK not turned on, jumped in without MASK, left QUADRAT and CAMERA on boat. Quite shameful really.

Vis was just slightly more than half a meter. Wonder why the drastic drop in visibility. Maybe they've restarted dredging around the area. Or maybe just the currents and tides. Hmm. Either way, LAST YEAR, we had like 4-5 meters vis around this time at Kusu. I was literally swearing when I could see the reef from the surface. "*&%^#@&^%%!!!!!!"

While making my way to my rubble quadrats, I saw this:


THIS NICE Montipora CORAL COLONY THAT I TOOK PHOTO OF JUST TWO MONTHS BACK HAS BLEACHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GAHHHHH!!!!!!! SO DAMN SAD!!!!!!! Let me show you what it looked like in August:

Healthy Montipora colony. Photo taken on the 25th August 04.

How do I know it's the same colony you ask? 'Cos I've got genius memory. HAHAHA. Ok Ok kidding. I just pass this everytime I go to my quadrats. Sigh. The state of KUSU has been becoming quite sad lately. The reefs are becoming quite smothered by high sedimentation due to development and works around the neighbouring islands.

It used to be known as the HYDROID INFESTED site by the Marine Labbies. We'd normally cover ourselves properly with gloves and kneepads and cover any holes our wetsuits might have before diving here. But now...the hydroid colonies which we have grown quite...urm...fond...of...(in a way) are GONE!! It used to be..."Oooh...must watch out at this stretch there is a big hydroid colony here. Must swerve to the left a bit." But now, THERE'S NOTHING THERE!!!!!! It's SO SAD!!!!!!!! I feel like an idiot swerving to the left when there's nothing to avoid now. It's become a force of habit.

Anyway, Priscila helped me count the recruits on the artificial reefs while I did the rubble quadrats. Since we were on a tight schedule, did not take many photos...But still very sad. Sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad.


Well, visibility at Raffles Lighthouse was 2.5 meters. Give or take. But the skies were cloudy. Thunder. Storm clouds. Cold.

Dark...but good vis. Still NICE!

Nonetheless, it was a great dive! I dived buddy-less today. So the warding off of damsel fish was such a pain. It kept biting my hands, gloves, legs, hair... It was VERY hard to write and record and ward it off at the same time. I was so frustrated I tried hitting it with my quadrat. But my super slow-mo actions don't really come close to the darn damselfish's agility. I probably look like a slow loris trying to do salsa. Yes, a SLOW LORIS. Did I mention I was a geek?

OOOHHHhhhhHHH...then I saw THIS:

Small tiny polyclad flatworm on a tunicate (sea squirt).

The flatworm was barely 1 cm! It was soooo small and cute. Quite proud that I spotted it though. And the thing it's on is a tunicate! It is said that tunicates are our oldest relatives. If you go WAY back. Like...the start of chordate life. Yeaps. THAT. WAY BACK. We're related.

And on my rubble quadrat that normally are quite boring....(except for the cutesy juvenile corals like these:)

Small tiny baby coral. About 0.5 cm wide. Look at the pencil lead!

The above tiny baby coral...will eventually grow into...:

THIS! A Pectinia juvenile coral. Still a baby though. Only 2 cm wide.

I don't have a photo of a large Pectinia colony. But will make sure I put it up next time if I take one.


ANEMONE EATING A JELLYFISH...or what is left of it anyway!

"YUMMY YUM YUM...MMmm...I'm eating a jellyfish through my mouth/anus...depends on which direction the food is going. Since I only have one opening. OH SHUCKS! Remind me again. Was I EATING this?? Or was I CRAPPING it?!"

The jellyfish has probably been attacked previously by fishes and what is left floats to the reef and onto the anemone...FOOD.

And on my final quadrat...I witnessed something...urm...interesting. Please be warned that scenes below may be a bit graphic. Look at own risk. Well. It's Slug for "one-night stand". It's the ONE MINUTE stand. Beware of graphic representations.

"Ooohh Baby...RRrrr..."

Boy/Girl nudi: "smooch smooch"
Girl/Boy nudi: "kiss kiss"

Boy/Girl nudi: "Ooooh that's good...don't stop."
Girl/Boy nudi: "Aaaah....I ain't stopping, baby..."

Boy/Girl nudi: "moan"
Girl/Boy nudi: "groan"

Boy/Girl nudi: "Hope that was as good for you as it was for me! Hope we get kids."
Girl/Boy nudi: "This place could surely use more of us...!"

Boy/Girl nudi: "O.K. babes. Ciao. Hope that was as good for you as it was for me."
Girl/Boy nudi: "Take care"

And they part. After a one-minute stand. No strings attached......

Further and further they go. Where? Who knows. To lay eggs? To feed at some hydroid colonies? Noone knows. And I ain't got enough air to follow them all day, man. BUT!!! OH WAIT...Something's happening!!

Boy/Girl nudi turns around: "NO! Don't LEAVE ME! I don't want this to end!!! I think I'm in LOVE! I keep seeing these flashes of LIGHT when we were making out!"
Girl/Boy nudi: "Urm...sorry dude/dudette...this has always been a one-minute stand. And I think those flashes of light was coming from that Darth Vader-like thing over there"

Boy/Girl nudi: "NOOOO...Don't LEAVE ME!!!"

Girl/Boy nudi: "Urm...I think I'll run away now..."
(Pteraeolidia ianthina)

---------THE END----------

Well... how their love story turned out I don't know. I had 500psi left and hardly anymore memory on my camera. So up I went...unwillingly...Whatever it is, I hope they're both fine...and having healthy eggs and babies...Didn't know nudibranchs were so raunchy! Well...okay...they CAN be even naughtier. They have ORGIES too. Nudibranchs lined up front to back and back to front, since they can be BOTH MALE and FEMALE at the SAME TIME. Foooh. Getting some and giving some at the SAME TIME.

If you think this is unbelievable?! Wait till you hear the "penis-fencing" behaviour of the polyclad flatworms! Yeah. PENIS-FENCING. Think Freud would be turning gleefully in his grave. It's a genu-ine word to describe the flatworm behaviour. I ain't kidding you, mah friend. Go and CHECK. IT. OUT.

Nudibranchs are HAEMOPHRODITES by the way. They can be both female and male...AT THE SAME TIME! Or...take turns...Cool eh...Huahaha.

Anyway, enough about them...I surfaced. And the best part was that in the heat of all that was happening...I FORGOT TO SURVEY ONE MORE ARTIFICIAL REEF UNIT!!! So down I went again...

And as I was approaching the unit...These TWO BIG THINGS just swam past me! I almost got a heart attack! Since they were so CLOSE!!! Right in front of me!!!!!

BATFISHES!!!!! They saw me and hid under a big boulder coral...

AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! What a great way to end the dive. Well...all in all, it didn't turn out THAT BAD to dive today after all. Heh. Should thank my lucky stars that there's still so many exciting things happening in Singapore waters. If not, I would really be dreading it.........Let's try to keep it that way OK. If you're with me, say AYE!

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