Friday, April 18, 2008

Cyrene Carnival: Edition 1

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I've always wanted to go to Cyrene. No, not the Cyrene in African Libya. No, this Cyrene is one of the largest patch reef in Singapore. Because it is a patch reef, it is usually underwater and unlike an island, which has a permanently exposed landmass, cyrene reef only revealed to us at super low tide when the reef becomes exposed. If you look at the map above, you might just be able to make out Cyrene Reef from satellite images. Do you see the color near the placemarker seems a bit murkier than the sea? It's not sedimentation! It's Cyrene!

As it has no land mass, it is difficult to access Cyrene Reef as there is no jetty for easy boat landing. Thus, every time any adventurous reef-loving soul wish to visit the reef, you either have to dive or wait for low tide and wade across water (or swim!) over to the reef! Boats are generally afraid of reefs as you never know when you might miss and collide with the reef when you try to land. Boats are known to shipwreck when they collide against hidden reefs like Cyrene. They are the icebergs in tropical seas except icebergs warn you in advance with its massive tips. As such, many reefs have been blasted away to make way for the safety of ships.

But I've heard so much about Cyrene. It's mysterious organisms like the deep sea creatures in thermal vents, Cyrene has its reputation for having a wonderful array of colours and life. It has a great diversity of seagrass species on top of the weird and wild of the marine world.

For this first edition of Cyrene Carnival on 18 April 2008, I'll leave it to the wonderful photos and words of others to spell out the beauty of Cyrene to you. Here are some of my favourites.

Talking about Cyrene
I often have to live vivaciously through the words and experience of others like the following lucky souls who have experienced the beauty of Cyrene and live to tell the tale!

IYOR08Singapore presents Cyrene Reef: a special reef in Singapore's port with a nice overview of the different biodiversity and habitats found at Cyrene with even connections of our Cyrene with the Cyrene in Libya, a Greek colony with nymph of a character just like ours!

Kok Sheng shares the spectacular sunrise from Cyrene! Hopefully I would get a chance to experience one of those for myself soon!

Chay Hoon presents an ode to Cyrene, a poem serenading the wonderful diversity of life teeming between a rock and a hard place.

Biodiversity of Cyrene
One of the things that have made Cyrene the Holy Grail of reefs for me (apart from Beting Bronok which I managed to visit!) is all the tales that great voyagers bring back from the reefs. Tales of wonderful and exotic creatures big and small.

Kok Sheng presents a run down on all the stars of cyrene! These aren't the starlets of Hollywood but the bright and colourful 5 armed stars of the seas. Sometimes they grow a few additional arms just for prosperity sake!

Budak spots a never before seen sea urchin in Singapore waters at Cyrene in En Pointe. Normally recorded in Malaysian waters, this is the first time this pointy little fella was recorded in Singapore waters!

Chay Hoon and the lucky team seagrass spots the "holy grail" of nudibranch that Wild Films have been searching for on our shores - the Melibe at Cyrene!!!! She even captured it swimming on video!

Threats at Cyrene

Cyrene is located between a rock and a hard place - between Jurong Island, our industrial island and Pulau Bukom, our oil refineries. It is also right below our shipping lane.

Wild Films presents Rock filling near Cyrene with holding area off Labrador Nature Reserve from an MPA notice with maps that highlights the precarious situation which Cyrene finds itself!

Southern Island Map

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