18 July 2011

Sentosa Serapong quickly

Another predawn trip to the reefs of Sentosa Serapong.
Once again, Sheila and Shao Wei not only kindly arranged for us to visit but also joined us for the shore trip! What will we see today?

Today, the tide was fast and wasn't very low. I spent most of my time lurking in deep water trying to catch a glimpse of fishes and waiting to go out to the beacon area where Kok Sheng and the rest of the team saw huge Acropora corals (Acropora sp.) on our previous trip.
A big 'sotong' or squid (Family Loliginidae) slid up near me before vanishing into the murky depths. There must have been more of them as I often came across floating blobs of ink in the water as I sloshed around. I also saw a large eel-like animal which disappeared before I could take a photo of it.
I also saw a Mosaic crab (Lophozozymus pictor) which Chay Hoon spotted on our previous trip. This is the most poisonous crab found in Singapore. As well as a small Brown egg crab (Atergatis floridus) which is also poisonous!
I am still astounded by the huge corals, hard and soft, that are found here. For more of the corals seen here, see my post on the trip two weeks ago. Alas, the tide didn't get low enough for us to safely explore the beacon area. We abandoned the idea and decided to explore the rest of the shore.
After reading about our trip in April, Dr John Yong, our mangrove guru, shared that the presence of mangroves in Berhala lagoon (outlined in green) probably contributes to the healthy reefs here (outlined in yellow). Thus protecting mangroves also helps protect reefs and visa versa. Thanks Dr Yong! Indeed! We have yet to be able to explore the tantalizing reef outlined in orange as it seems to require a much lower tide. I'm quite certain it is just as, if not more, spectacular than what we have seen so far!
Click on image for larger view.
Here's a look at the mangroves at Berhala lagoon that I had the opportunity to visit in April. Including more about the history of Berhala.
Near the mouth of the Berhala lagoon, I did see a nice Acropora colony. It was about 30cm wide, so quite respectable, although not the huge ones we expected to see today. Nevertheless, we saw lots of healthy corals. And were especially thrilled by the many Cauliflower corals (Pocillopora sp.) which did very poorly during last year's coral bleaching and were not so commonly seen on our trips to our other shores recently.
While we didn't see any red feather stars (Class Crinoidea) near the beacon, we soon spotted lots of them after the outfall from the Berhala lagoon. Just as we did on our previous trip. Hurray!
We stopped for a while to enjoy a glorious sunrise over this amazing shore.
Sheila spotted a brittle star among the fields of zoanthids. Jerome took a better photo of this, and also of many other interesting creatures which he will soon share. Abby also saw a mama cowrie looking after her eggs and other critters too.
I examined the six Magnificent anemones (Heteractis magnifica) here, and saw a glimpse of a 'Nemo' in one of them, but underwater camera was too slow to photograph it. Just as we were ending the trip, the weather turned and sirens went off to warn golfers to leave for safety. We were whisked away in no time by Sylvester and Sheila.
Well, today was rather disappointing due to the tide not being all that cooperative. But still, it was great to spend time outdoors on this special shore with the great team that is looking after it.

Thanks once again to Sheila, Shao Wei, Sylvester for looking after us. And Josephine too. There are probably no suitable tides that coincides with a suitable date for us to revisit this shore until the morning low spring tides start again next year. But I'm sure it will do well as it lies in such capable hands!

Recently, I also received a delightful surprise! Sentosa Golf Club has featured the Serapong reef in their magazine. Wow. Featuring my photos of Serapong shores. The photos hardly do justice to the beautiful shores, but I'm glad the Club members can have a glimpse of the precious jewel they have.

Tomorrow, we have a look at another side of Sentosa!

Posts by others on this trip
  • Jerome on facebook with more marine life.

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