Wednesday, 2 February 2011

death everywhere

I drove to Changi after work today to catch the low tide. I had wanted to observe the shore for signs of death as a result of the unrelenting rain which poured over the last couple of days. The rain had caused massive flooding in much of Johor as many rivers had burst their banks. Given that Changi and in particular, Chek Jawa lie at the mouth of the Johor river, there are many concerns that we would have a repeat of the mass deaths at these areas.

This was probably one of the weirdest trips ever because I hardly got to see anything alive. There were basically lots of dead stuff lying around the shore. I think the rain did cause some damage. Over at the shore near Changi Point, certain patches of sea grass meadows had turned brown. In fact, the shore was littered with lots of brown sea grass leaves. Still, there were some nice and healthy sea grass meadows submerged in the lower shore. I did come across two palm sized carpet anemones, one green and the other purplish sitting tight amongst the meadows. Apart from that, and a couple of sea urchins, everything else I saw was dead and in various stages of decay. I'm not sure if this had anything to do with the rain, since many of these were large fishes. Amongst the dead included 2 horseshoe crabs, cuttlefish bones, dying sponges, a dead pigeon, different types of fish, some of which quite large like the puffer fish and queen fish, bits of broken coral and even a skull belonging to some mammal.

The rain washed up quite a lot of debris onto the shore, most of which were mangrove debris. According to Ria , many of the ones washed up are rare in Singapore and had probably come from Johor.

The tides today were not very low and the waves at the usual shore we visit made it virtually impossible to see anything even if we had waded out towards the sandbar area. This probably explains why I didn't see any hermit crabs or sea cucumbers lying around. These creatures are usually quite abundant at this shore.

Tomorrow, we head off to St. Johns. It's my first time there, but from the posts i've read, the reefs and shore appear to be quite diverse. Hopefully we'll see something interesting.