Sunday, December 23, 2007
December Transect Day 1
After series of floods from Johor and also the ongoing monsoon storms, we were kind of worried if Chek Jawa could survive through times of prolonged decrease in salinity. 23rd Dec finally arrive where we have this week the last series of good 0.0m tides. The next such series will be after May 2008. This afternoon, weather looks really good in the beginning. (photo by Gun Kiat)
To advance to the northern sandbar while the southern one is submerged in retreating tides, we have to cross this prominent part where many of those whom joined before will know. (photo by Liana)
After briefing, we were ready to go! This time, we were armed with flags made of corrugated material that are waterproof, no more soggy vanguard sheet that are disposable after each use. (photo by Liana)
Near the coastal side, Gun Kiat and I saw this snake. Thanks Sijie and Chee Kong for the id. This is the striped bronzeback (Dendrelaphis caudolineatus).
Near transect three endpoints, we saw many of these yellowish things. I've seen it feature in someone's blog before but forgotten. Any idea what are they?
The mussel beds never fail to amaze.
The top part where the seaweed covers becomes white. Why?
I have no idea too. The seaweed, Ulva reticulata, turns white covering the mussel beds.
I saw more baby carpet anemones at the fringes of the northern sandbar where Halophila spinulosa thrive. Will they be wiped out by the end of January next year?
The team also found a sea star. Ron and I suspected it to be a cake sea star.
To id sea stars, there is a need to turn over and take a close up photo too. Just that I am too lazy now to check the BP guidebook on echinoderms.
We also chanced upon many shorebirds feeding at the intertidal area. Overlooking the boat is Johor. If you are sharp, there are also a few people exploring the shores during low tide today. Wonder how is their side like? Is it a good seeding ground for Chek Jawa?
And drum rolls, we have the intrepid teams for today. From left to right: Samantha, Laxton, Sijie and Yikang. Nice to know Samantha and Laxton for the first time, from Naked Hermit Crabs.
I got myself this time an assistant to help me take LIT videos. He is Gun Kiat. Done a marvellous job. He also helped me to measure salinity and carry some stuffs.
And this is the other team with Yijun, Bingquan, Nicholas and Liana! Basically the 2 teams are one of the most efficient. Finished everything about an hour before hand. Perhaps we also started bit earlier. Haha.
As usual, rolling back the tapes is not an easy job. Got to ensure 100m of tape do not get entangled and also get rid of most sand and mud from their surface. Yikang obviously showed how difficult it could be in an exaggerated manner.
And as predicted, working during December means be prepared to work in the rain. (photo by Gun Kiat)
We were pretty blessed. Changi, Johor, Tekong and West from Ubin were raining. But not Chek Jawa. Thank God indeed. Or else working in the rain would be really tough since there is so many things to juggle with. (photo by Gun Kiat)
When everyone was done with work and proceeded to clean up, Gun Kiat and I proceeded to do more salinity checks. Very timely, dark clouds loomed and threatened to pour. I chanced upon a nudibranch whom the Semakau guides people saw twice today. It was curled up, and I was waiting for it to open to take a photo. While waiting, it was unfortunately both of us got soaked as rain came finally. (photo by Gun Kiat)
And this is the one I was waiting for.
Nevertheless, glad the rest were not affected by the sudden heavy outpour. Would like to thank everyone who helped out today. Hope that tomorrow and Tuesday will be also as great as today.