Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Good Friday on St John's Island

Sorry that this post is coming way late. The coral workshop is some what logistically challenging and there's not too much free time for me to do up this post. Least ways not after I have grabbed my photos and gotten some off other photographers. >.< Boy was the beach on St John's crowded on Good Friday! My Geography teacher from secondary school, Mrs Chua, contacted me about arranging for a guided nature walk for her friends and their family. Interestingly enough, Mrs Chua also facilitated my first ever visit to St John's Island for a geography fieldtrip. That trip stuck in our memories mainly due to the fact that after visiting the mangroves, we were caught in a rather heavy downpour at the rocky cliffs. At least this time around we had better luck with the weather.
IMG_2616 group shot

Since I was in the middle of the SECORE workshop, and we made the arrangements in less than a week, it was a rather informal affair with Abby (who also happened to be on St John's for the workshop) kindly helping to guide half the group. It was nice sharing to a group of enthusiastic family group. Lots of questions asked, and a couple of them were also pointing out some of the raptors that were flying around the vegetation on the rocky cliff!
IMG_2619 navigating the rocky shore

The group kept us pretty busy with their zeal for nature, and we were constantly talking and sharing stories with the group, so much so that I actually didn't take many shots of the organisms.
IMG_7403 cowrie IMG_7400 octopus alert!

In fact, we stayed out until the tide was starting to look like it would cut off our route back! Some of the group was still heading further along the rocky shore at this point, and we had to quickly start ushering people back to the entry point.
IMG_7411 rising tide

But of course, spending Good Friday out at the shores would call for a group shot, and Abby was quickly loaded with an assortment of cameras to help with that. Really couldn't resist sneaking in a shot of her managing at least 5 cameras!!!!!
IMG_7415 cameras for sale!

At the end of the walk, Mrs Chua and another geography teacher took over for the geography portion of their outing. The students in the group did a little exercise in beach profiling while Abby and I headed back to TMSI to check on the preparations for the first night of expected coral spawning before the group came up to TMSI.

Dr Michael Laterveer (Rotterdam Zoo) was kind enough to do a quick presentation for the group, introducing them corals, mass spawning, and the work that we hoped to get done during the ongoing SECORE workshop.
IMG_7416 SECORE intro IMG_7420 coral at risk IMG_7421 natural storm barriers IMG_7423 coral cryobank IMG_7424 researchers at work

The visit was wrapped up with a quick peek at more marine life in the TMSI touchpool before the group headed back to the beach for a picnic lunch. ^_^
IMG_7425 touchpool

It's also heartening to read that the visit to St John's turned out pretty well in spite of the rushing here and there! Certainly hope the group would come back to St John's for another visit!

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