10 September 2011

Chek Jawa and the Lost Diamond Ring

A pair of bouncy kids are a highlight of today's Chek Jawa tour with the Naked Hermit Crabs!
We also hear an astonishing story about a diamond ring on Chek Jawa!

Today I had the pleasure of guiding the See family with their precocious kids, and the Lee family with grandma and grandpa. The young ones are bouncing with energy. Checking out every part of Chek Jawa! There's a tree in the well, she says. And yes indeed, there are plants growing on the sides of the wall!
We have a quick look at the map to see where we will be going. Today we give the Tower a miss as the little ones are too small and we have some grandparents with us too.
Instead, we head straight into Mosquito Valley to have a look at the nipah palms and try to find some of the many interesting little creatures that live here.
We saw some tiny colourful fiddler crabs! Also some other larger crabs. But the back mangroves were very dry today so we didn't see many other animals. Fortunately, this also meant less mosquitoes.
The tide is a little high today but we manage to get a glimpse of large fiddler crabs and some sand bubbler crabs before they are covered by the incoming water.
The water is quite clear so we still manage to see more animals even though the tide was high.
Here the sharp-eyed visitors spotted some Gold-spotted mudskippers, several large hermit crabs. In deeper water, Ivan alerted us to a school of mullets.
Oh, is that a snake on the high shore?! A closer look at the photo ... no, it's just a piece of rope. Cheh!
The Chek Jawa boardwalk is indeed for all ages. Grandma and grandpa take a photo while the little one bounces like a rubber ball, up and down the boardwalk!
Even at the end of the walk, they are still bouncy!
Time to share drawings of what we saw on our walk. Aren't they just adorable.
When the rest of the groups come back, the drawing area gets really busy!
Before we leave, we take some photos with our visitors.
On the way to the van, we spot the wild boar mama with one of her piglets. The piglet is all grown up and has lost its stripes.
Today, we are joined by Kok Sheng's enthusiastic student councillors from Dunman High School who will be participating in the Naked Hermit Crab walks as part of the school programme. I gave them a talk last month and was very impressed by their enthusiasm.
As usual, Mr Ishak Khan met us at the Chek Jawa Info Kiosk and promptly updates the students on some history of the area. We also learnt from him, that recently, a man proposed to his fiancee on the boardwalk but accidentally dropped the expensive diamond ring! Into the water! Oh dear! It has since not been found.
After the walk, we had a well-deserved lunch at my favourite Ubin restaurant. It's like an informal museum! With lots of colourful photos of wildlife and rural life at Pulau Ubin.
There's also lots of photos of life in the old days at Pulau Ubin. Kok Sheng takes the opportunity to highlight some of them.
There's even a photo of the elephant that had wandered onto Pulau Ubin in 1991 and was eventually caught and returned to the wild! More about this on the Pulau Ubin Stories blog by November.
As usual, despite intentions of taking photos of our lunch before it was devoured, I only remembered to do so after we had totally demolished the black pepper crabs. Yumm. This is the reason why we need to preserve our mangroves. So that we can continue to enjoy seafood!
We managed to get back to the mainland before it really started to pour!
Check out the Adventures with the Naked Hermit Crab blog for updates on the next monthly free guided tour of the Chek Jawa boardwalk!

More about Chek Jawa and Pulau Ubin.

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