18 April 2010

Semakau swiftly with flaring on Pulau Bukom

Another predawn start for the low tide, this time with TeamSeagrass to Pulau Semakau.
As we approach Pulau Semakau, we could see that flaring is still going on at Pulau Bukom's petrochemical installations!

There are two black plumes rising up from the huge flare as we head out to our monitoring sites at Pulau Semakau's vast seagrass meadows.

Even though Pulau Semakau is quite a distance from Pulau Bukom, I could still hear the roaring of the flare. Though it wasn't as deafening as it was at Pulau Hantu yesterday.
Besides seagrass meadows, Pulau Semakau also has lots of reefs!
I decided to take sneaky cam for a swim and take some underwater shots of common hard corals seen here. The water was quite clear today! Here's the large, long polyps of the Anemone coral (Goniopora sp.)
The lovely corallites of a Favid coral (Family Faviidae) with large O-shaped corallites.
And another commonly seen Favid coral with a maze-like pattern that resembles a jig-saw.
Here's another kind of Favid coral with tiny O-shaped corallites.
How nice to see a good sized colony of Lettuce coral (Pavona sp.)
Pulau Semakau also has lots of Sunflower mushroom corals (Heliofungia actiniformis). Often mistaken for sea anemones, this is a single giant polyp with a hard skeleton. The only other place in the South where I often see them is Pulau Hantu which lies just across from Pulau Semakau.
And here's something that looks like the Sunflower mushroom coral but is probably the Torch anchor coral (Euphyllia glabrescens).
The volunteers also spotted a pair of mating Ceratosoma nudibranchs (Ceratosoma sp.), a Jorunna nudibranch (Jorunna funebris), a green smasher mantis shrimp (Gonodactylus chiragra), a pufferfish lots of Common sea stars (Archaster typicus), a Big synaptid sea cucumber (Family Synaptidae). Other sightings include the Fire anemone (Actinodendron sp.) near Site 1, a Giant carpet anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea) alas we couldn't see any Anemonefishes in it.

Chay Hoon and James each saw a cushion star (Culcita noveaguineae)! While James found the shell of a dead giant clam that might be Hippopus hippopus!

It's amazing what you can see on a quick trip to Semakau.

Other posts about this trip

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