Pulau Hantu - A celebration of marine life

Secret lives and secret worlds hidden in Singapore's most popular coral reef.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Blog Log - May 29, 2005

As much as we dislike bringing it up, poor vis was the biggest challenge of this weekend's dive.

It appears there has been increased activity in the channels between the Southern Islands. A recently installed derrick was sighted at the channel between Pulau Hantu and Busing, and a dredger was observed in action in the channel that runs between Jurong Island and Pulau Sudong.

Derrick off Busing

A derrick is an offshore rig established for the purposes of drilling and dredging to pumping and piling. They range in lengths from a mere 30 feet to hundreds of feet, as are familiarly seen in deep ocean oil rigs.

We do not know of the purpose of the derrick just off Busing. The last sight of any dredging was in September, and its momentary halt saw visibility shoot up to over 6m. Just when divers (and certainly animals) were relishing the power of the sun, darkness decended like an ominous cloud, bringing vis down to zero past the 7m depth and only a mere foot at 2-3m.

It is critical to realise that while this poor vis leads to but a dismal dive for us, to the coral it could very well mean death. With no light penetrating the depths past 7m, it means the Zooxanthellae cannot manufacture food, and thus coral is literally starved.

It was difficult to remain positive about the current situation during the dive, and stressfull for guides taking divers out for their first time. We hope this uneventful circumstance translates into an educational experience for them. That they will dive Hantu again to experience her true glory, or better yet, join the movement to prevent such dispiriting and tedious occurances.

Despite the poor vis, Hantu Blog volunteer Dive Master Edd Ong was hard at work finding critters and managed these beautiful photographs of Hantu's interminable resilience.

A magnificent flat worm

Pretty coral polyps gather food from the water

A silt-dusted swimmer crab. A determinable sight on every dive, but for how much longer?