Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Virgin adventures at the great reef

Terembu Raya means the Great Reef in bahasa melayu and great it was! Not so much in land area but the coral diversity and life there is quite amazing. It's no seagrass wonderland like cyrene reef but around the perimeter where Eric and I were exploring, the corals, fish and other animals were just keeping us excited with every step we take! I admit I don't go out as often as many others but I've never seen so many different type of corals in one place before so it's an exciting time for me!

One of my favourite moments was definitely stalking this squid (amongst the many encountered). It tried its different strategy at me, from pretending to be invisible to becoming angry and wagging its "horns" at me! Its use of tentacles fascinates me. When it wants to speed away, it puts them together to form a torpedo like bodyshape but when it wants to intimidate, it keeps the tentacles together like horns and sometimes it forms a sucker like shape. It's so fascinating!

I've also seen things I've only seen before on photos like this sponge. Could this be the famous neptune's cup? I have no idea! Could somebody enlighten this ignorant monkey?

Giant corals like this are also rather common! In fact this one is about 1.5m across!

Tis also the first time I spotted a nudi all on my own! Eric says this is a T-bar nudibranch which is a hard nudibranch. Not sure what that means. Have to read up!

It was quite a hairy crab haven at Terumbu Raya as I probably saw at least a few dozen of them in just the small corner I covered. I even found this one which was dragging along a piece of seagrass back to its home to savour before I waylaid it for a moment. Luckily it didn't abandon its food for cover.

This fascinating lil snapping shrimp also held my attention for a while when I saw it actually cut off a piece of tape seagrass and proceeded to drag it back into its hole!

Eric also found this seahorse. In fact he found 2 but I didn't backtrack to find the yellow one he saw. It still amazes me that seahorses are actually fish with modified scales! Interesting that he didn't see any seahorse on semakau but here we were, stones throw from pulau semakau, divided only by a channel, facing the island, we found 2. hurray!

At the end of the day, you know its an adventure when you hesitate jumping off the lil dingy into the water despite assurance of "no problem" because you couldn't tell if your next step is land or 13m below on the reef crest! But a chair on board comes in handy. Doubles up as steps and anchor! Comes in a pretty shade of brown. While stock last!

More photos of the trip can be found on my flickr photos.

No comments: