The Blue Tempeh
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
  Diving diving diving!
Heh! This is also another long overdue blog. Have done quite a few dives over the month and lots of exciting stuff happened and seen! The visibility has improved slightly over the past month and although it's been mainly work dives, there's always time to explore bits here and there. Right. I'll just go right down to the stuff that's happened. In chronological order. Hopefully my memory won't fail me now... Hehehe.

2nd Sept '05: Diving Lazarus!

Another work dive to Lazarus to clean the nubbins (small coral fragments farmed for reef restoration research) again. The visibility was an OK 1.5 - 2m. A great improvement from the previous dives. And guess what we found this time round!
Among the nubbin trays and rack too!

Carpet eel blenny (Congrogadus subducen). Carnivorous. More! HERE!

A Porites "nubbin". Oooh... see it growing!

Another Acropora nubbin. This branching coral has become rather rare in Singapore waters. Needs somewhat clear waters and good conditions to grow. But his "nubbin" seem to be doing pretty well. Let's see whether it holds out!

And I was inspired to look for sea spiders after Debby's blog about them. So was scouring the hydroids for them. But to my surprise! I found this! I have no idea what it is! So if you know anything about it! LET ME KNOW! ARGH!

Tiny tiny small slim nudibranch on a hydroid...Excellent stuff!

Most importantly, we've found out the miracle of having a dive nazi on board! EXCELLENT STUFF! See this and know what I mean!

You can see more photos HERE if you want. If you want. Not forcing you. =)




An overall organised neat boat! Mr Loh's boat never looked this neat before on ANY of our dives! IMPRESSIVE.

And payment for a neat and clear boat? Milo dinosaurs and plastic bottles! What could be better?

But at the end of the dive, we saw this! Smoke billowing from a ship. Hey, shouldn't there be regulations for SMOKEY SHIPS?

4th Sept '05: Reef Friends survey at Raffles Lighthouse!

Reef Friends! Reef survey! At Raffles Lighthouse! Don't know where it is? Check it out HERE!

Raffles Lighthouse (Pulau Satumu) is a fantastic fantastic place. Located at the southern-most tip of Singapore waters (it's REALLY close to Indonesian waters), it has, in my opinion, one of the most amazing reefs in Singapore! You can see photos of the previous dives I blogged about HERE, HERE, and HERE.

I am just going to be go right into the results of the survey which should be quite obvious on its own. If not, refer to my previous blog HERE. (You can see I am really going to just go right to the point here)

Results for shallow transect.

The hard live coral cover for the shallow transect is really encouraging. It is classified as GOOD under the criteria developed by the ASEAN-Australia Living Coastal Resources Project. The corals are just fantastic there... I mean, when it is coupled with better visibility, it's equivalent to diving in places like Tioman or Aur Dayang, in my opinion.

Results for deep transect.

But just barely 4-5m deeper from the reef crest (where the shallow transect was layed), the coral life dropped significantly to just barely 26%, which just barely qualifies for the FAIR category for the abovementioned criteria. SEVEN METRES! Our reefs used to extend to tens of metres... and now the reduced light penitration caused by sedimentation in our waters has greatly restricted the growth of corals to mainly the shallower depths.

See past results of surveys done around Raffles Lighthouse HERE.

I didn't really have much time to take photos this dive. But here's what I managed to squeeze in:

Ain't it pretty! I love the translucense of these bubble coral (Euphyllia Pleurogyra (Thanks Jeff! Don't know why I thought it was Euphyllia) polyps!

A phyllid! So cute! Also saw a Bornella sp. nudibranch but didn't have time to take the photos!

A cushion star!

The survey, despite the weather, done in the rain (no lightning/thunder) and urm..rather...choppy waters, was overall a fun experience!

9th Sept '05: Diving Raffles Lighthouse & Saint John's reefs!

Woohoo! 2 work dives! One at Raffles Lighthouse and the other at Saint John's!

Raffles was a comfortable 2.5 - 3m and I managed to track down the resident allied cowry again. Was busy finding my experimental racks! So didn't really have time to take lotsa shots. =(

And and and! GUESS WHAT WE SAW AT SAINT JOHN'S?! We were cleaning the nubbins again... (yes, again...sigh) and and and! WE SAW THIS!

The tiger-tailed seahorse!

EXCELLENT STUFF! The previous week, the week we saw DOLPHINS while cleaning the nubbins... (yes. dolphins. see it HERE if you don't believe me), Daniel (the dive nazi, scroll up) saw one too hanging around the nubbins. It might be the same individual, but you can never tell with these sorta things.

More photos of Saint John's reef HERE.

19th Sept '05: Diving Raffles Lighthouse...for work

OK, no photos. ALL WORK that day. Visibility was OK, about 1.5m. Aim was to bring up my experimental recruitment tiles that I have deployed on the reefs of Raffles Lighthouse. Saw lots of crinoids! =) And urgh damselfishes...
Second dive was HORRIBLE. CURRENTS! One of my buddies got swept off into the Raffles Lighthouse-Biola channel. I was DYING...don't know why I did it...probably I just wanted to get it over and done with. Boat rides aren't cheap. And to get so many good buddies out to help me does not happen very often. So... there you go.

Something I should REALLY commend though. IMPRESSIVE STUFF. Daniel managed to TOW ME... AGAINST CURRENT... CARRYING A BASKET AND A LIFT BAG. It was thoroughly impressive. Towing me alone would be quite a challenge... but AGAINST CURRENT AND WITH THE BASKET (a lot of resistance, like a parachute)!!! IMPRESSIVE. I was about to give up... and surface... abort dive. I was grapling onto rubble pieces and rocks on the reef without a glove and they just kept giving way! Then he took hold of my tank and PULLED ME FORWARD. Took the basket from me, leaving me more hands and less resistance to fin against. Highly impressive shite... it's now on par with Jacki's lift-a-motorbike-onto-a-pickup-one-man-show deal. Actually, I might give the towing a one up cos it was just damn cool stuff.

20th Sept '05: Diving Hantu

MY EXPERIMENTALTILES ARE UP! From HANTU! All completed in ONE DAY! EXCELLENT STUFF!!!! It was highly efficient that day. I was VERY VERY pleased. =)

OK, I am really losing steam by now... SO, I am going to be damn lazy and just give you the flickr bookmarks for you to see. Anyway, I think you'd be more interested in the PHOTOS than my ramblings... so here you GO.

21st Sept '05: Diving Raffles Lighthouse

Final work dive at Raffles Lighthouse, bringing up the rest of the tiles. Second dive was a "leisure-thank-you-for-helping-me-do-work-dive" for my dive buddies... and of course myself. Haha. Well... I think it was well deserved! And it was good to recce and monitor the reef at the same time too!

Photos of stuff at Raffles Lighthouse, HERE.

Alright, really losing steam here. So just deal with it.

27th Sept '05

Work dive work dive. Normal stuff. Vis has become crappy again, down to about 0.7-1m...sigh. I wonder why. =(
SAW BABY SEAHORSE THOUGH! At Saint John's! And Kusu Island still has those WONDERFUL WONDERFUL HUGE PRETTY SEAFANS AND WHIPS! Man oh man would I love to do a leisure dive there... Hmm... Maybe I would... one weekend...=)

The END.
Of the tour de force.
Will let you know what other stuff we see on Singapore's reefs in October. But now that my tiles are up, there might be less diving, and more laboratory work. Sigh. Sad.

Wish I could have gone on one of those dives with you.

The Euphyllia coral looks more like a Pleurogyra :)

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