The Blue Tempeh
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
  DIVING RAFFLES LIGHTHOUSE.
Corals. Corals. Corals. Corals. Corals. Corals. Corals. Corals. Corals. C.o.r.a.l.s. C.O.R.A.L.S.!!!!!! Sigh. Diving Raffles Lighthouse (RL) can never go wrong. Scenic. Relaxing. One of the places with constantly good vis. Although when I first started my project here I got lost like nobody's business trying to find my experimental quadrats. Now, it's a breeze. I love this place. Site with one of highest coral cover in Singapore. LIVE coral cover. Read: Not dead. Read: Colourful. Read: Very pretty....SINGAPORE'S REEFS ARE ALIVE! (copy the Chek Jawa phrase)


Foliose corals of many colours.


Raffles Lighthouse, or also known as Pulau Satumu (don't ask me why, History was never my strong point) is one of the best places to dive in Singapore waters. Too bad if you come within 300m of the island without a permit from MPA, the coast guard will come at you faster than you say, "Whhooaa, that's a BIG gun!"

It used to be dive-able by anyone. But due to security reasons, and its proximity to the live firing area islands (i.e. pulau sudong, pawai etc etc)...you can piece it together, no? No need for long explanations. Though, I can tell you some horror stories about when there were miscommunications and we almost dived when jet planes were about to have target practice at the neigbouring islands...Shudder.

Vis was good again... at least 2m! I think the low tide condition we dived in sort of mucked up the sediments and made it not as clear. But at 10m, it was still VERY clear.


Sea of Blue.



Niiiicceeeee.......


What was I doing diving at a restricted area you ask? I am actually doing a small project involving special artificial reefs or reefs enhancement units (REUs), which is part of a bigger project handled by Elsie. I look a lot at coral recruits...i.e. BABY CORALS. The product of coral sex orgies! (see past log)

Here's some of my babiieesss.....aren't they cuutteee....awww.....look at them....


A Pocillopora baby on the REU.



Darling Acropora baby on the REU.


I also look at baby corals on the natural rubble plots on the reef itself as well...


Baby Goniopora coral. Which will grow into...



A field of daisy-like things. So pretty!


The fish life here is great too! Loads of butterfly fishes! Certain types of butterflyfishes feed on coral polyps and can be used to see whether the area has healthy coral life or not! And RL definitely has lots of these!


Copper banded butterflyfish. Pretty pretty...



Eight-banded butterflyfish. Count the bands!


Oh, and the DAMSELFISH at RL is...ARGGHHH. FRUSTRATING! They're so protective of their home range (and algae patches that they farm). So fierce. So daring. So...PAINFUL! They bite all parts of your body. Yank your hair. Again. And again. And again And again again again.


The honey headed damselfish...respect!


Oh...not only the damselfish at RL is fierce. The TOMATO clownfish near my quadrat is also not to be messed with. If I weren't wearing a full suit, I would be crying of pain by now.


Tomato anemonefish. Male & female.


But there are nice fishies cute and non...urm...pain inflicting. Like these!


3 little false clownfish...Cute aren't they?!



Such a cute li'l blue fish!


Besides fishies, there are also OTHER things. Like..........


GIANT CLAMS!!!!


The story behind these clams are that they were placed here after being confiscated from an illegal shipment. They are actually from Indonesian waters. That are surviving well and have grown to quite a commendable size. Big, they are...

Oh and this HUGGEEE flatworm that Tse-Lynn found...


That's the flatworm. And that's Tse-Lynn's finger (fatly gloved)



And cushion stars too!!


The vis was sooooo good that at 10+ metres, it was still so bright and clear and non-eerie. See my dive comp. if you don't believe me:


It says 9.1m I think...or 9.7m. But nonetheless, it was still so clear!


There were big giant boulders of Diploastrea corals...A characteristic of Raffles Lighthouse Boulders! Massive. Imagine how long it too to grow to this size! It'll probably take my age times 10, or more even.


Awww...my darling coral.



But lots of hydroids too!


And Tse-Lynn saw this REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY pretty tubeworm! (A serpulid for the more worm-inclined out there) SOOOO PRETTYYYY... PRETTY PRETTY WOOORRMMM........Awww......PRETTY WORM...


PRETTYYY WOORRMMMM!!! SOOO PRETTYY!!! ARGGHHH!!!


......But DANGER LOOMS....DA DUM.


Acropora branching coral.



RED CORAL!! So pretty!!!


See these pretty corals. And then THIS:


NETS ALERT!


Sigh. Nets, sedimentation, poaching, dredging, illegal collection. These are some of the things that our reefs are being threatened by. It's really a wonder how hardy our marine environment is, and how much more it will be able to take...
 
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