Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Scariest Boat Ride Evar!

Well, I slacked off for two days... We actually went to Terumbu Raya on Sunday. Better get down to this!

The day started off with the SCARIEST BOAT RIDE OF MY LIFE. The morning was showered by Sumatras, so the waves were really choppy. Soon, however, the storm cleared and  all was well again.

Pictured above: The face of nonchalance
On the way, we saw some people walking along the long and winding road at Pulau Semakau. Incidentally, those people were Year 3s from my school doing the Marine Biology module. But more on that later.
We finally reached Terumbu Raya, a submerged reef that's very close to Pulau Semakau, separated by an incredibly narrow strip of water.

The group of Year 3s from my school

"SEA TURTLE!" shouted Ria, as we approached the reef. Rushed and excited, we ran to the top of the boat. According to her, it was probably alarmed when the ship weighed anchor, causing it to surface. But we couldn't see anything. Just some Sargassum. Disappointed but excited, we took the dinghy to Terumbu Raya.

Terumbu Raya

So we finally reached the reef. The wind was strong. Our life jackets were almost blown over! With all the hullabaloo over, we set off exploring. The first thing Pei Yan and I found was a bunch of Bivalves clustered together.

Courtesy of Peiyan.Photography.
Soon after, Pei Yan pointed out that there was an octopus right in front of me. Excited, I squatted to get a shot. But the shy octopus retreated. Darn. Nevermind, it was the first of many octopuses that we got to see.

Octopus #1

Plenty of Hairy Crabs there.

So, I decided to plod around looking for squelchy things. My wish was soon granted. While turning over a rock, I noticed something tiny and translucent scuttling across it. It was a Baby Octopus! We tried to take a photo, but failed. It was simply too small and too fast. Oh well. We returned the rock to its original place and moved on.

I saw a few Swimming Crabs staring at me with outspread arms, as though saying "COME AT ME, BRO!"

Then, I saw Octopuses #3 and #4 in quick succession. Both of them were rapidly changing colours, which was very exciting for me. I've never seen that happen in daylight. An octopus can change the colour of its skin to camouflage, intimidate or to communicate. Very intelligent and fantastic hunters. Hard to believe they're actually related to snails and clams...

This one kept alternating between purple and black/white

Otherwise, I saw plenty of corals, upon which I shall not expound. Take heart, you can read about them at WildSingapore or on Pei Yan's blog (links at the bottom) There's such a huge variety on that reef. It was a brilliant symphony of colour.

Finally, I saw a Funeral Nudibranch. Despite the depressing name, it's very pretty!

Cue sombre music

I also got to see a GIANT DENDRODORIS NUDIBRANCH! IT'S HUGE! Like the size of my foot! I didn't take photos, so here's one from WildSingapore.

How can something be so incredibly cool?!
With that, we sailed back to the mainland.
I loved Terumbu Raya. It's evidence of just how much there is to see in Singaporean waters. It's a bit short-sighted to say we've got no wildlife.

Other blogs that related this trip:
WildSingapore:  http://wildshores.blogspot.sg/2012/07/checking-up-on-terumbu-raya.html
Peiyan.Photography:  http://peiyansama.blogspot.sg/2012/07/octopus-adventures-at-great-reef.html
Chay Hoon's Facebook Album: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151026695183713.451206.619308712&type=1

No comments:

Post a Comment