Wednesday, 9 January 2008

cleaning up (part of) Chek Jawa

Chek Jawa is probably the most well known of our local intertidal areas, and I find myself heading there a few times over the few weeks between Christmas and now. Pretty amazing considering that it has been years since I actually went done to Ubin. All three trips were for different reasons. The first one was just some fun exploration of the intertidal area with the Semakau guides, then came the help-KS-out-with-his-project (cum Christmas) trip. Then last Sat, went down again with some of the Naked Hermit Crabs to do part 3 of our intertidal cleanups (Part 1 being Berlayar and Part 2 being Sekudu). Our target area being the mangrove area just past house 1, somewhat opposite Sekudu.

Budak was meeting us directly at CJ, so the rest of cleanup crew loaded ourselves into the van for the ride from the Ubin jetty. When we got to the shelter just outside the CJ gates, budak was pretty much acting as a guard dog guard-duck at one particular tree. Knowing that flying dragons are commonly spotted on the trees around that area, we initially thought that that was what was being guarded. But alas! He was guarding something else of the legless, slithering kind! There was a keel-bellied whip snake (Dryophiops rubescens) on the tree, any pretty much within duck human reach! Apparently this fellow just made a meal out of one of our many flying lizard friends, and was just WAY too satiated to crawl up the tree again. *drats* And we just missed all the action. Not too sure if that's good or bad. Anyways, budak managed to catch it all, so do go and read his entry on the legless and the luckless.

So off we went into the much less explored section of the CJ intertidals. The tide was still rather high, so we set off to look for nets stuck within the small mangrove patch. That resulted in us spending quite a bit of effort moving roots while trying to free them from clutches of those abandoned nets. Most were rather entwined round the roots, proving to be quite a bit of a challenge for us!
IMG_2626 IMG_2629

Nets weren't the only things caught and tangled against the roots. There were all kinds of debris ranging from sacks to glass bottles to even a comforter!

And then the rain came... Nothing unexpected since it's monsoon season, AND we have already been blessed with near to 2 weeks of sun. Thankfully it was more of a passing shower than a pail of water tossed on us. No lightning either so we could continue searching for nets to clear from the flats. However, when we looked across to Sekudu, it seemed like the froggy rock was getting its fair share of visitors too. What are those people doing there when Sekudu's clearly part of the restricted area around CJ?

Exploring the muddy and slightly soft flats just beyond the mangroves was where all the work started coming in. We just kept finding medium to large nets (quite a few times bigger than us even!) one after another. Reddot estimates at least 20 fairly "good" (meaning medium to large) sized nets spewed all over, with quite a number washed up to the hightide mark. By then, the tide was starting to come in, so in addition to working on cutting up huge driftnets into manageable sections, we also had to watch the water, and where we were stepping (especially with heavy/huge bundles of nets in tow).
Ria seems somewhat happy that we found the monsters. So that we can clear them off...
One of the longest, meanest nets that we tackled. See the long long "tail"? That's like only maybe a third of the actual net. Most of its actually part-in-part-out of its mesh covering at the pile where we have 3 people figuring out how to get the net outta there...
Still looking somewhat cheerful before the chopping and hauling began
Yes, it was definitely a "work in process" til the tides threatened not to just leave the net stranded, but us as well...
And the dragging begins. Or at least part of it. The nets and various rubbish had to be dragged hurled carried transported to our "base camp" at the edge of the mangrove area before we started to transport the lot of them further inland for proper disposal

Our dynamic avian duo of duck-man and robin birdhandling manhandling one of the biggest chunks to base camp. Definitely hardwork, and messy too!

Things got trickier as the load seems to have a mind of its own, and started drooping off in bits and pieces. And in the stickiest portion of the area mind you! Here's when reddot came along to rescue our (un)caped crusaders of the intertidals.
Here's duck-man looking rather unlike his normal ducky self, having survived the net. He even had clams and crabs and mussels sprouting outta his pockets!

Sadly, despite all that net wrestling and moving, we still had to leave behind much of the junk. Truly a tale of too much to do, too little time, too few hands.
20080106 - CJ pano02 20080106 - CJ pano01 IMG_2650

Read more at:
RedDot - CJ, Fishnet Graveyard
WildFilms - CJ cleanup

1 comment:

Wai said...

Looks like you guys had fun. :)