Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tanjung Rimau Security Barriers - Some changes and slight improvements

The sky presented itself with a beautiful sunset as I did an update on the security barriers at Tanjung Rimau, Sentosa.
Sunset from Sentosa
How have the security barriers progressed after my last visit in August 2013? Were there improvements done or has situation worsened?
There were only one obvious change made to the line of security barriers at Tg Rimau. The drums chained on the high shore, some of which were broken, were removed.

Let us see the progression of the drums on the high shore since I started documenting this in April 2013.
[Image taken in April 2013]
Here's a picture I took in August, showing where the blue drums starts from the high shore.
Blue drums starts right next to where this photo was taken, furthest on the high shore.
[Image from August 2013]
Here's the picture I took on this trip landwards, showing that the blue drums starts on the rocky - sandy high shore.
Obvious different between the April photo and the photo taken on this trip.
With the drums removed from the high shore, no more sighs of broken drums and contents spilling onto the rocky surfaces.
Wider view of the high shore, where the connecting chains can be seen.
The chains are anchored at the same spot.
This is where the line of drums begins from the shore. The concrete cube is visible in the background.
Start of the line of drums.
I am not sure if the drums are serviced and changed regularly, but when the tides goes out, the organisms (mostly algae and some barnacles) growing on the lower parts of the drums are revealed.
Blue drums resting on the reefy shore when the tides goes out.
Other than the improvements done on the high shore, the rest of the line looks the same as what I saw during my last visit. The concrete cube which the line of drums is attached to is still sitting at the spot while the drums forms a corner.
Concrete cube and drum corner.
Here's an overview video of the security barrier line near the concrete cube is.

As it was an evening trip, I had to move and work fast checking out this barrier line as it is rather difficult to document them when the light goes dim in the sky.

As mentioned in my previous update about the security barriers, there was a tilted buoy along this line of barriers which might have caused the change in the outline of the barriers on this shore. The image taken in August showed the buoy tilted at about 45 degrees to the horizon.
Tilted buoy documented in August.
On this trip, the same buoy is resting on the reef and it looks different. The buoy is almost horizontal on the reef.
The buoy at the same location.
On the reef where the buoy is resting on, it looks pale as though the parts have been scraping the surface.
Buoy on the reef.
Pale surfaces caused by the buoy?
I am assuming that this is the same buoy as the one I saw in August. Some markings have "disappeared" and it is difficult to make comparison.
Markings on the lower part of the buoy - "PCG" and "01"
[Image taken in August]
Image taken on this trip - Barely visible "PCG", missing "01", addition "W-2" markings
The blinking light attached at the tip of the buoy had been removed. And so is the stick with the cross.
Top of buoy, blinking light and cross point present.
[Image taken in August]
Cross point and blinking light missing.
The whole buoy is slowly being encrusted with some parts probably rusting away. This is a view where the blinking light was attached with the solar panels.
Rusting top and encrusted solar panels.
View of the whole buoy.
It was rather "exciting" having a closer look at this buoy as the ferry services to and from Batam make use of the waterway in front of this shore. This means that each time the ferry passes by, large waves generated by the ferry will reach the shore at Tg Rimau. Even at low tide, these large waves are rather strong, especially when I was already standing in just below knee deep water at the buoy. I had to scramble for slightly higher ground on the reef on two occasions, right next the circular structure while I grabbed onto the structure of the buoy.

This video will show how strong the ferry generated waves can be as they head towards the shallow shore.

There was a drum near the buoy that looked rather dented.
Dented drum.
Armed with a GPS device, I marked some coordinates along the security barrier line and tried to map out more accurate points on Google Earth. The purple line shows the rough line of the security barriers with the help of 5 GPS coordinate points. The short red line is the chain from the concrete cube to the drum "corner". The GPS coordinate marking end at the buoy ("Beacon" on the image).
Purple line shows the line of security barriers.
The shore at Tg Rimau is still pretty much alive as the sunsets. I came across many clusters of Tape Seagrass (Enhalus acoroides).
Tape seagrass
The shore area after the start of the barrier was so densely covered with the Hairy green seaweed (Bryopsis sp.) that I have to carefully place my foot so that I do not step on loose pieces of rubble or animals hiding under the seaweeds.
Thick layer of hairy green seaweed on the shore.
Unfortunately, my compact flash card from my DSLR has some problems and I could not extract out the photos. So no critter updates on what I saw during this trip. Hope that I will be able to recover my photos in that card.

Read more about the security barriers at Sentosa (in chronological order):
Security Barriers at Tanjung Rimau, Sentosa [28 April 2013]
Updates on Security Barrier at Tanjung Rimau, Sentosa [10 August 2013]

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Cephaly, Fidderly and Tape Flowery at Semakau

It was a rather hot day today as we journey to Pulau Semakau for another intertidal survey session. The team had visited this part of the shore a few months ago on National Day.

We passed by quite close to the fish farm next to Semakau. There is a barge right next to the fish farm loaded with stacks of bags which may be fish food. On the barge (right side on the photo), there seems to be a large rectangular metal container used for incinerating things. I could see smoke coming out of the rectangular container and smelled something being burnt.
Anchored barge with stacks of white sacks.
Neatly constructed shelter
The structure of the fish enclosures in this fish farm is very different looking than the northern fish farms.
Fish enclosures.
Upon landing on the shore, Ivan spotted a cuttlefish about the size of my palm. It was not easy to get the cuttlefish to show its tentacles.
Side view of the cuttlefish.
Cuttlefish tentacles.
Chay Hoon spotted a small cuttlefish among the seagrass blades. The seagrass meadows provides small shelter space for growing animals.
Front view
Side view
Ivan was a great observer today. He also spotted an arrow-head spider crab (Menatheius sp.)
Arrow-head spider crab
As the team made their way to different parts of the shore to check, I headed towards the river mouth to explore. Along the way, there were patches of very long tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides). I used 'very' because most of the tape seagrass we monitor and usually see are rather short and burnt at the ends.
Very long tape seagrass
What's more exciting about these tape seagrass is that some of them releasing male flowers! It is so tricky to photograph the male flowers as they are small and white like tiny styrofoam bits. The camera tend to over expose the flower.
One male flower of tape seagrass.
There are no magical powers involved to make these male flowers stand. One end of the male flowers of the tape seagrass is hydrophobic (repels water), which allows the flower to 'stand' upright on water surface or even wet fingers.
More flowers on tape seagrass blade.
I think the male flowers looked like tiny standing teeth.
I have also started noticing bare spots on the epiphyte (small plant which grows attached to another plant) covering the seagrass blades. Animals feeding on the epiphytes?
Feeding marks?
As I head nearer to the river mouth the habitat changed from a sandy, seagrass meadow to a slightly muddy substrate with breathing roots sticking out. I am approaching the mangrove area.
Pneumatophores of Sonneratia tree
By the banks at the river mouth, it is stunning to see marine animals settling comfortably. There were clumps of tape seagrass on the river bed. As I was bending to take a closer look at the marine life on along the bank, a pair of eyes looked back at me.
"What interesting eyes you have."
It was the Pearl conch (Strombus turturella) looking at me.
On the water surface there were a few pygmy squids (Idiosepius sp.) swimming around.
Pygmy squid
There were also some individual giant carpet anemones (Stichodactyla gigantea) along the bank and they can be found next to the rock wall slope on the bank.
Giant carpet anemone
And some yellow-banded damselfish (Dischistodus fasciatus).
Yellow-banded damselfish
As I walked further up the river, the tranquility of the mangrove slowly reveals itself to me.
Where the river flowed from.
On the rather firm mangrove ground surrounded by some Sonneratia and Rhizophora trees, the orange fiddler crabs (Uca vocans) are out busy feeding. They are very sensitive animals and requires patience to photograph during daytime.
Male orange fiddler crab
Female fiddler crabs (how many can you spot?)
How many fiddler crabs can you see here?
The dead mangrove tree provided a lot of details for artistic shots.

An eagle flew past.
Brahminy kite eagle?
The roots system of the Sonneratia tree is not as simple as you think.
Sonneratia tree root system
Back to the sandy shore, I came across two upsidedown jellyfish (Cassiopea sp.). One was "upsidedown".
Upsidedown jellyfish
Upsidedown, Upsidedown jellyfish
As the sun begins to set, it was time to leave the shore.
Sunset on the Semakau's shore
This probably marks our last trip for the year till about next March as the tides are not low enough for us to visit our shores.

Posts by others on this trip:
James with photos on his Facebook.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...