Most of the shores on both Big and Small Sisters' Islands were reclaimed: seawalls were built on the reef edge and the reef flat buried. The original islands were much tinier. Most of Big Sister's Island is ringed by artificial seawalls, which create two swimming lagoons.
There was also a good variety of leathery soft corals. I saw several Haddon's carpet anemones and Giant carpet anemones and some Frilly sea anemones. None of them were bleaching.
Today, I checked the seawall in the middle of the Big Lagoon. The level of sand inside the Big Lagoon remains high, but it seems the sand is no longer overwhelming the corals. There were lots of Oval moon snails in the sand. I noticed this first on our survey in Jan 2018 and Feb 2019 too. And noted this on our last survey here in Jan 2020 and Sep 2020.
More about Big Sisters Island
This island is now part of the Sisters Islands Marine Park. Like many parks in Singapore, you can visit Big Sisters Island any day from 7am to 7pm. You don't need a guide or a permit to visit during these times.
Marina South Ferries now offer travel to the Sisters Islands on weekends. Besides the ferry, you can also hire a water taxi to take you there from Marina South Pier. There are about 10 commercial water taxi companies located there. You can call to book a taxi or just go to the Pier and get a taxi. Most leisure visitors go with Island Cruise, which caters to tourists.
More about the Sisters Islands Marine Park on the NParks website and on the Sisters Islands Marine Park blog and facebook group.
Photos by others on this survey
Loh Kok Sheng
Others on the survey: Vincent Choo.