Before sunrise, there were ominous flickers in the sky. Soon, we could hear the thunder. The full moon was blurry even though the sky appeared clear, probably due to haze. Is this why we had a purple sunrise? Fortunately, the storm did not head towards us and we had a nice cool dry morning. (Russel showed us how to get a photo of the lightning by taking a video of the storm!)
Xenia soft coral which has large polyps that pulsate!
Leathery anemone, which we rarely encounter.
Bubble tip anemones and many Frilly anemones. All those I saw were not bleaching.
Giant carpet anemones and one of them was a bit pinkish. Oh dear. Alas, none of the large sea anemones that I saw appear to have any anemonefishes.
Fluted giant clam near our departure point that we saw on our last trip here in Jul 2015. I was at first worried as it appears pale, but Mei Lin assured that it was not bleaching. Mei Lin also found a large Burrowing clam, while Kok Sheng found another Fluted giant clam.
Scallop that I saw.
leathery soft corals here, and most of them looked alright.
Asparagus flowery soft corals I saw were rather pale.
Brain corals here and most of them seemed alright although many were pale.
Boulder pore corals and most were nice and brown. Only a few were pale or had bleaching spots. I also saw some small colonies of Anemone corals and most seemed alright although some were greenish.
Tape seagrass (not cropped).
As we left Pulau Semakau, two small boats zoomed in. People on one boat looked like they were about to retrieve fish traps (bubu) laid on the reef. While the other looked like recreational fishermen.
Pulau Semakau is NOT the same as the Semakau Landfill. The Landfill was created by destroying all of Pulau Saking, and about half of the original Pulau Semakau by building a very long seawall. Fortunately, the landfill was constructed and is managed in such a way that the original mangroves, seagrass meadows and reefs on Pulau Semakau were allowed to remain. The eastern shore of Pulau Semakau is right next to the seawall of the Semakau Landfill, opposite the petrochemical plants on Pulau Bukom.
Phase 2 of the Landfill was just recently launched. This involved closing the gap of the seawall on the Semakau Landfill, forming one big pool where incinerated ash will be dumped. NEA worked to limit the damage to natural shores during the construction work for this expansion of the landfill.
Let's hope Pulau Semakau's natural shores survives the anticipated bleaching period!
Photos by others on this trip
- Marcus Ng and Nicole Wong on facebook
- Jianlin Liu on facebook
- Russel Low on facebook
- Loh Kok Sheng on facebook and his blog
- Neo Mei Lin on her blog.
Others on the trip include Ian Siah and Nick Yap