#66, Guiding at Semakau with the Fanworms!

Hi everyone, I haven't been blogging in a very long time indeed. Half a year... that's about how long I have not been guiding as well *guilty look*.

Anyway, so I finally guided on Wednesday, 2 June 2010, this time with a group of secondary school students from Boon Lay Secondary School. We were assigned the group 'Fan Worms', and the students heard me wrongly saying 'Fann Wong', it was not until they received the badge that they went 'Orh... so this is the "Fann Wong" you are talking about." Haha.

So the students started flipping through the intertidal guide sheets they were given and so one boy mentioned that he wanted to see the dugong but sadly, dugongs are extremely rare nowadays in Singapore, to the extent that we may even consider it 'extinct' in Singapore (http://wildshores.blogspot.com/2009/01/diving-with-gracie-dugong-announced.html). These dugongs typically feed on seagrass patches which are quickly disappearing.

The morning started off really wet, it was also raining on the way to Semakau on the boat. At least it stopped raining when we reached the intertidal area, it was really a blessing - the weather was cool and nice. We even saw a double rainbow on the way there. A participant shared with my double rainbows was because of a reflection of the first rainbow. Interesting.

Well well, I don't have photographs this time because I was busy guiding at the intertidal area but we did see quite many animals! We saw:

1 Oysters, the vice-principal pointed it out... haha, she seemed pretty knowledgeable about the intertidal creatures.
2 Dragonfish sea cucumber
3 Sandfish sea cucumber
4 Noble volute
5 Fiddler crabs, at the Bakau tree
6 Blue swimming crab - the night before, learnt about how to distinguish between a female/male crab by Yingwei!
7 Giant fluted clam - that harbours photosynthetic pigments to help it produce food as well, at least it wasnt bleaching? I dont know if it is capable of doing that?
8 Cockles
9 Scallop, I guess quite a rare sighting! It is one of my first times seeing it...
10 Baby hermit crabs
11 Knobbly sea star
12 Common sea star
13 Magnificent anemone
14 Haddon's carpet anemone with anemone shrimps
15 Phyllid nudibranch, a rather huge one.
16 Hairy crabs, though surprisingly few. Usually there're more but perhaps they've gone into hiding after the rain.

It was sad too though to see alot of the corals bleaching (it means they have ejected the zooxanthellae - type of algae from their polyps) near the reef edge... really and really wonder why! Is it because of the change in temperature, or salinity or other factors? Corals are so sensitive to the changes around them. I really hope they will recover soon, if not it might mean that they'll disappear, forever... ):

It was really great guiding again, thanks Ron/Ms Wang/ Marcus for coordinating this trip!

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