Monday, 28 May 2007

And back~~

Finally feel recharged. Been feeling drained since writing of thesis. 7-days in the outdoors doing various things sure has re-energized me! Hee~~ Nopes, no photos (at least not yet) since there's tonnes of stuff I need to un-backlog before it's off to Seremban for church camp ^^ Can't believe there was a black tip reef shark spotting off Semakau while I was away in Tioman last week!!! Wish I was there...

The RF survey on the 19th was draining yet fun. Draining due to currents at particular spots at certain timings of the day, then there was the genera ID-ing to be done. Need to go through those photos again before I send the data off to papajeff... BUT I also managed to catch a video of a seahare swimming!! It was just dancing/swimming/hovering right in front of me while we were descending for the 2nd dive~~~ Also marked the first time I saw whip gobies in Singapore!!! Three of them some more!!! And there was also the weird splotchy Bohaschia sea cucumber!!!

The next day we had our early morning ReefWalk at Kusu. Quite a lot of interesting things spotted, and I can't believe I actually managed to catch a mooncrab! More luck than anything else ^^ The group I was leading included some rather eagle-eyed individuals since they spotted a solefish (note to self: grab photo from MS) Last RW with woceht as well... at least for quite a while.

Then it was off to Tioman for EFT. Seriously need a crashcourse in how to jaga kids, as well as the terrestrial stuff. *groans* Came back feeling inept yet inspired.
Okies. Back to work and clearing backlogs....
Click for the rambling...

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Last week @ Raffles & Lazarus

Blogging postdate stuff seems to be becoming a habit... Here's some of the stuff we saw at Raffles lighthouse and Lazarus during the dives last week. Was playing about with mhy IXUS's digital macro function a little and managed to get shots of the little critters that live amongst the coral nubbins. What I can conclude is that I *did* manage to snap them but the grainy quality of digital zoom kinda took out the satisfaction if getting them... *sigh*

And so the photo parade starts!! First up's the stuff that we saw at Raffles lighthouse ^^ Bright red crinoids!!! Pretty, right? They're echinoderms (meaning spiny feet), and are related to cushion stars, sea stars, sea cucumbers. Those bumpy creatures that have circular symmetry (at least externally). Crinoids are also known as sea lilies or feather stars. Easy to see why, rite? ^^ You can see this one clinging to the substrate with its tentacle-like feet, and they actually do move about using these clingy feelers!
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Next up, nudibranchs!!! Only saw a few nubidranchs, these phyllids. The unusual thing about these particular ones are that their rhinophores (those antennae-like thingies) are out!!! Most of the times we can't really tell the front from the back of phyllids since the rhinophores are nicely hidden. Yes, the rhinophores are on the front end.
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What's more, this is the first time I'm seeing a nudibranch leave a trail in its wake!!
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E2 managed to spot this awesome cowrie in a crack between some rocks. Only the second time that I'm seeing a cowrie in Singapore~~ The reason why it's so recognisable and has such a pretty shell, is all because it's mantle (aka flesh) actually wraps round the entire shell, giving it the nice shiny look.
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And after working so much with this reef crab (aka thunder crab), Carpilius convexus, he wouldn't miss this one. It's called thunder crab because of the belief that once it grabs hold of you with it's mighty pincers, it won't let go unless thunder sounds.... Of course, it may also refer to the sound of your finger breaking in those pincers.... [EDIT] Seems like silly Juan here got her crabbies mixed up. Not a thundercrab after all. Tis the red egg crab. Supposed to be nocturnal so I wonder why we saw two of them on this dive. Maybe they can't really tell night from day on Singapore's sedimented waters?
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Then there's the omelette soft coral that I ALWAYS see during intertidal walks. Really looks way more impressive with it's tentacles/polyps out~~~ Just like a little sea of flowers.
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Another soft coral (I think). Polyps more spaced out but still as fascinating. ^^ Do let me know if anybody manages to figure this one out, k?
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Moving on to the Lazarus nubbins, the tables are ALWAYS so full of life. Meant as a coral nubbin nursery but nusery and shelter to a whole range of things!! Some are immediately visible, like the many many fishes that come here to feed (on algae and invertebrates), such as this filefish here. Somewhat shy and skittish but amazing all the same~~
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Other fish that are here are not as obvious, and try their best to hide from inquisitive eyes like these juvenile 8-banded butterfly fish. So many of them playing catching with us as we cleaned the nubbins, going this way and that....
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Taking an even closer look between the branches of Hynodphora and Acropora nubbins yielded a number of funky crustaceans. From these little crabs...
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To shrimps...
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The most unusual of which, was this GREEN shrimp (Coralliocaris graminea) that grows up to 1cm in length and is known to be a commensal with Acropora coral. Its color pattern is made up of black, white, and green chromatophores in alternating fine longitudinal stripes. Can *some what* see the stripes in my photos but these little critters were REALLY REALLY frustrating to shoot. Surge, small subject hiding in recesses of branches, digital macro => asking for a hard time!! But still managed to get a few decent shots ^^ It still looks like some tiny alien....
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Click for the rambling...

Thursday, 10 May 2007

This is just so cool!!!

Nat posted this on his blog, and I think it's a rather nifty video too!!! Soooo cool!!!

Click for the rambling...

Tuesday, 8 May 2007


Just a quick post since I went on a spree *grinz*

You Are More Yin


You Communicate Like a Woman

You empathize, talk things out, and express your emotions freely.
You're a good listener, and you're non-judgmental with your advice.
Communication is how you connect with people.
You're always up for a long talk, no matter how difficult the subject matter is.

Your Quirk Factor: 47%

You're a pretty quirky person, but you're just normal enough to hide it.
Congratulations - you've fooled other people into thinking you're just like them!

Your Inner Color is Blue

Your Personality: Your natural warmth and intuition nurtures those around you. You are accepting and always follow your heart.

You in Love: Relationships are your top priority, and this includes love. You are most happy when you are serious with someone.

Your Career: You need to help others in your job to feel satistifed. You would be a great nurse, psychologist, or counselor.

You Are Apple Pie

You're the perfect combo of comforting and traditional
Those who like you crave security

You Are Midnight

You are more than a little eccentric, and you're apt to keep very unusual habits.
Whether you're a nightowl, living in a commune, or taking a vow of silence - you like to experiment with your lifestyle.
Expressing your individuality is important to you, and you often lie awake in bed thinking about the world and your place in it.
You enjoy staying home, but that doesn't mean you're a hermit. You also appreciate quality time with family and close friends.
Click for the rambling...

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Thanks everybody!!!

*lol* My labmates are just so sweet!! Despite surprise birthday celebs fast becoming an expected thing, they still tried their best - from fishy SMS saying Prof wanted a meeting to discuss writing a paper on our POC stuff to a weird phonecall on the lab phone with the lab lights suddenly going off (complete with Prof's bewildered expression while sipping on his cup)... It was really funny and heartwarming!! Thanks for remembering. Thanks for this nice japanese cheese cake and the divejunkie shirts!! Divejunkie is now divejunkied!! Hee~~ Proof of junkie-ness:
Feather Star polo
Mythical seahorse shirt

All this is just gonna make me even more lonely next week when all you folks are are Bolinao~~~ *cries* Just wish you all a safe trip there and come back in one piece!!!
Click for the rambling...