Thursday, May 29, 2008

Not so early morning today
But it was a good morning anyway

& probably early vessels get good ports

Gigantic vessel sailed slowly in front of my bumboat
Which appears to be an exact size ratio of 10000000:1
& what is most amazing is
It sailed all the way from USA

& it contains HANDSOME NAVY GUYS!!!! *dreaming*

So work at CJ starts again
& ended 4 hours later

While waiting for my transport to come
I snapped around

My canine friends - Max

& Cookie (but I call it Kookie coz it looks like a Rookie)

Refurbished House Number One
The sick cowfish in recovery tank
Overlooking to Pulau Sekudu

Egret feeding
Dead promfret
I almost caught a photo of the Oriental Hornbill but my digital zoom was off
& by the time I on-ed it
It flew off =(

After having a sumptuous lunch with Brenda
I headed back mainland
& I encountered another giant!
All the way from Panama!!
But no handsome ship crew I believe

This would be the most beautiful picture if boat uncle never steered the boat so immediately & rocked the whole boat from side to side...
Which almost freaked me from falling into the water

Not so bad picture still

End of my May's research
Now I'm gonna have a good rest....

P.S: I'd finally found my tasty mee siam! Been searching for the lingering sweet-spicy flavour since primary school times & I finally found it in Pulau Ubin! One less reason to dread heading Ubin for research...Wooooohoooooo~~

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Today is a super 'cloudy' day

Every cloud looks like giant candy floss

I should have taken photos of the morning sky
It was so colourful!
But too bad I didnt bring my Fujifilm & use the lousy handphone camera instead

On way out CJ
I encountered the Oriental whip snake

It was biting a lizard
Which I believe was its freshly caught prey
But it dropped it & glided past me
Which freaked me out real bad!

Brenda laughed at me -_-"

Last day of experiement for the month of May
& I'm gonna have a week's break

Saw this car on newspaper

This car can dive!!
Equipped with Scubapro equipments somemore!

But one thing very funny
How does this car maintain its buoyancy?
It can dive as deep as 10m
But can only travel at 3km/hr while underwater
Somemore it's a convertible!
The driver no need wear wetsuit also

Donno if this invention is a thumbs up or down
To me
It is just useless

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I call it the 'Horlan Taxi driver Day'


Early morning head to Ubin with Brenda
The cab uncle was happily driving & we were happily sleeping
When I opened my eyes
The taxi uncle just missed the TPE entrance at Tampines
& I said 'Uncle, Changi Village leh..'
Then the Uncle replied:"Oh..Changi Village ah? I thought it is the ferry terminal at Tanah Merah'

Errr.... I bet there is a very huge difference between this 2 ferry terminals
I can forgive him if he said we meant Changi Ferry Terminal instead of Changi POINT Ferry Terminal

Anyway, we went a big round around Changi Airport
& Uncle was so niao to only refund me $1 out of the total $36.80 trip

The sky was kinda grey when I reached CJ
Drizzled abit
But I think it wont be that bad as previous days
& indeed
Sunny & windy after that
Perfect for my experiment

Not delaying anymore
I laid my transects

Several guided tours came for the low tide walks
& once again
I was also the 'monkey' of the day for the 100 guests
Until a small group of people came in front of my rock
& shouted "We are from China, can we do an interview with you?"
Ok loh

I quickly messaged Prof to notify her
& even asked her what is the chinese name for Echinolittorinds
Both of us have no clue
So I just came up with a name for it - 小螺


The crew came over to my rock
& interviewed me
Wanted to have a short talk about myself, my project & my passion for the environment
Also adding to some public awareness speech to save the environment

Several NGs
But wasnt nervous at all
Just tongue-tied with proper Mandarin conversation
(After the interview I think I could have done better in cantonese)

It was done within half hour
The Nparks staff praised that I spoke very well


I dont even think I speak correctly as some of the scientific terms were mind-blocked

I wondered if I could get a clip of it
Or maybe I will see myself on Phoenix Channel

This is the first time I'm being known overseas
I've been interviewed several times but by local media firms
One by Channel 8 news
Another is by Cohesion neighbourhood magazine
Now by China Guangxi Television!

On anyway
I did reminded them not to step on my transects
But I think he'd forgotten about it
& I heard some crushed sounds as he jumped around on my rock

I hope tomorrow the E. vidua abundance is still there
& not suffered population decimation over the day
Ha! *fingers-crossed*

Went for a relaxed boardwalk with Brenda after my experiment
Chatted about the nature groups nowadays
We saw 3 wild boars
& Max went to chase them

Max is my new CJ canine friend =)

So on way home
At Bukit Panjang
The taxi uncle missed the turn to my road
& he turned at the next junction


Then when he turned in
He stuck at the left lane instead of right
So I quickly told him to go right
He was abit blur
Think he'd even forgotten where my destination is
Since he went a big round (again)
I requested to drop at the opposite block and walked back
Instead of wasting addition 40cents to turn into the carpark

Horlan cab uncle day!
Kana twice!
Suay or not
Wasted my few dollars


Monday, May 26, 2008

Damn bloody weather forecast
I called to check if there's any rain in Ubin
It said got thunderstorm affecting all over Singapore
& rain was detected in Changi
So Ubin being wet is highly possible
Furthermore the lightning outside my window keeps flashing
Making me even believe it would be accurate

I decided to cancelled my trip

& Brenda told me that Ubin was sunny after 8am

I so wanna kill myself

I wasted one trip previously coz weather forecast said there's no rain in Changi
But when I reached it was raining
& when I left Ubin
The sun came out

Now I wasted another trip
Just coz forecast said it's raining
But apparently it's not

One trip missed
One set of data uncollected

Somemore time is pressing with extreme low tides being so precious
I really donno what to do with this unpredictable weather

I haven even entered my data into my SPSS file
For fear my computer crashed again

Meanwhile I will just be tediously collecting data

Please show me good sun tomorrow morning

I beg you

Friday, May 23, 2008

I bought a Mplayer =)

Been eyeing for a Mp3 player for quite some time after the Panasonic that Joe gave isnt working
Battery spoilt =(

This Mplayer is the fake iRiver
Cost me 3 times cheaper than the original

Dont care la!
It's still a storage system that stores music files
Who cares if it's brandless or what

But I was just fascinated with the Mickey design
& I somehow try to believe myself that this is not an impulsive purchase


I'm now transferring my Garbage, Smashing Pumpkins, Suede, Portishead, Massive Attack in my 2GB mouse

Back to the alternative world
Sick of Mediacorp Radio

** DarDar is playing his guitar behind me & I'm playing my ripped music files. I think my room is now a discotheque. Woohoo!
I'm in deep thoughts
Very very deep thoughts
So deep that I'm confused
& now I'm deeply confused

I donno whatta do
I donno who to approach

I donno if what I'm doing is correct
I donno if what I'm doing will be fruitful

Seeing other people so happy
I feel sad that I'm not as happy as them

I choose to sink
In my work
I choose to escape
For overseas trips

I do what I believe is correct
& is bright for my future

But I am not sure I'm just doing the right thing

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I came across this forum article to the Chinese newspaper

The difference between Singapore's MTR and Hong Kong's MTR is that, Hong Kong's MTR has a shorter waiting duration, more frequency and has lower fare thatn Singapore's MRT. This is my 3-days' Hong Kong's observation.

I so wanna replied him - Bullshit

Singapore & Hong Kong has always been comparing between each other due to its economic growth and development. In fact, some ways are indeed matching each other. However, when it comes to transport, Singapore's transport is definitely better.

Hong Kong's MTR is cheaper?
Please take a look here
If we were to compare about traveling from one end of the island to another end of the island, Singapore only cost $1.90 for the whole trip
Let us take Island Line for example (Hong Kong Island is roughly or slightly bigger than Singapore Island)
Indeed, Hong Kong Line offers a cheaper fare traveling from Sheung Wan to Chai Wan

But think
Hong Kong is damn bloody big
It consists of 3 large areas - Kowloon, Hong Kong Island & New Territory
For a person to work in another area, one has to cross the mountain & ocean
Like me while I was studying back in HKU, I have to spend HKD$28 on a one-way trip to reach school by bus
Crossing 2 underwater tunnel, 1 mountain tunnel, 1 long bridge & 2 flyovers

It still takes me 1 hour to reach school
A smoother journey on track with only 2 transits
The total fare of one way trip costs me HKD$19 too (inclusive of mini van)
But this was only after my student discount of half price
An adult price would cost HKD$31

Unlike Singaporeans who even complain about far & expensive when one is staying at Clementi but working in Loyang, easily connected by the NE Line by paying only $3-4 per trip

You think about it

Hong Kong has 2 major MTR/train services
But I heard they'd merged or maybe not yet
Anyway, not the main point
Thing is...We should consider the benefits of Singapore's transportation instead of complaining too much without knowing the real facts
& complain nonsensically with sweeping statements

Singapore MRT offers fare discount for transfers between MRT & buses
Student privileges for monthly transactions on unlimited bus & train rides
Also, they have the Park & Ride Scheme for drivers
But Hong Kong has none of these

Hong Kong MTR only offers student fare at half price
There's no discount for bus & MTR transfers even when they're under the same MTR company
No discount for transiting from MTR line to West/East Rail Line (under 2 different companies)
& news has mentioned that they have no intention for any lowering of fares even after merging

Hong Kong's transportation fares is definitely higher

Given Hong Kong's large surface area & high population density
The frequency needs to be higher to accommodate to the high demand efficiently
That would also explain why Hong Kong MTR are always crowded during peak hours

Remember this too
Hong Kong's cab isnt cheap either
While Singapore could spend only $30 traveling from one end to another end
Hong Konger has to spend HKD$500 or more traveling from one end to half of the another end
It cost me HKD$300++ to travel from Tsim Sha Tsui to Tsing Yi after a wedding banquet

Singaporeans take things for granted when the govt is trying to make our lives better
They just want more & more until they will finally give up when it's totally F-R-E-E

I admit I'm not a truly Singaporean due to my birth origin
But at least the long years I've been staying in both places allow me to see things clearer
Clear enough to give a better reason why I can bombard against the sweeping statements that I'd felt untrue about local transport

My final point remains
Singapore's transport is better

This is my 3 years' Hong Kong's observation

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I was so tired from my dive trip
& DarDar still dragged me to go fishing with him at SAF Yacht Club Changi

So sunny
As if I didnt have enough sun at Pulau Aur

A floating juvenile spadefish
Me & a caught juvenile grouper which was then released

After the day
I was all burnt
Even worse than I was at Aur
My dive trip updates

The water on the night we headed out was extremely choppy
Even choppier than that I last went in July
All of us almost wanted to puke
In fact, heard someone from the other team puked throughout the journey

After 3 hours land journey + 5 hours of sea journey
We finally reached Atlantis Bay Resort, Pulau Aur at 5am

We went for our 1st dive at Telok Kador
The current was damn strong
That I had immediate vertigo when I descended

Despite the swish-swoosh motion
I still managed to capture a pair of anemonefish, juvenile leopard wrasse & some corals
Alexander's damsel
Juvenile leopard wrasse
This is my first time seeing the leopard wrasse
My FishID book said it's not even supposed to appear in Malaysia!

Also saw a bunch of ruptured sharks' capsules
During safety stop

Slacking off during surface intervals

Dive #2 at Pulau Lang
Corals look like it had been blasted!
Many many baby blue damsels!
Very nice!A bunch of nudibranch (donno what name though)A blue-spotted grouper got hooked but the line was snappedI tried to remove the hook for it but it just kept swimming away& got tangled around the corals again...

Titan triggerfish at a distance, feeding with a bunch of parrotfish
A school of wide-band fusilier
Blue-spotted stingray & a bridled coral beamAdult leopard wrasse !!
Big pinnate spadefishThe crazy dude doing crazy things during safety stop again...-_-"

Stealing some sleep on speedboat during our 30 minutes surface interval before our 3rd dive

Our 3rd dive at Crocodile's Rock

When we descended
Our very encounter with another spadefish =)
Pregnant map pufferSome nice coralsJuvenile yellowtail damselAlso saw a pair of chromis mating

Me =)
Juvenile Honey-head damselAlive Spider shellAscended for our surface interval, ready for night dive at 8pm

I didnt bring my camera down the water
Coz DM Benson had only 60bar of air in his tank
& since I was his buddy
I need to assure his safety so didnt wanna drag time taking photos
We saw a sleeping bridled parrotfish
& I was trying to spot its surrounding mucous but to no avail
Then we saw 4 squids attracted to our light & a giant filefish

We came out of the water at 930pm & had our BBQ dinner
Concussed & woke up at 645am for our dive #4 the next day at Rayner's Rock

Kenneth made a very big & funny mistake that made all of us laughed like hell
Coz the surface water at Rayner's Rock was very very rough
& it was splashing over the rock
& Kenneth was shouting 'WHALE! WHALE! WHALE!' while pointing at the exposed top of the rock
All of us thought really got whale & rushed to the left side of the boat preparing to snap photos
But after 20 seconds
DM Benson said 'That's Rayner's Rock lahh!!'
We all laughed like funny!

Morning dives always see alot of beautiful fishes just up for breakfast
Croinoid on a sea-whip
Pair of pink anemonefishAdult Semicircle AngelfishPhyllidPair of adult Six-banded angelfishSoft coralGreen turtle swimming towards me!!

This is the closest encounter with a green turtle
Almost can touch it if I chose to instead of snapping photos
It was just about 1m close! >_<

Our final dive was a Aur House Reef
DM Benson brought some bread & banana (yes, banana) down the water for us to feed the fishes
While we were down
We saw another turtle =D
The reef was very richThe fishes flocked around me when I was snapping them
& they seemed to be like attacking DM Benson while he was only trying to open the plastic bag of bread
& they also tried to attack me as if I was their food
In fact, I was bitten by a Whitestreak monocle beam at my index finger
First time kana bitten by a fish >_<

Meanwhile I tried to take macro shots

Aur's fish eat banana

After playing with the fishes
We went back to the shore
Did a shore exit coz the boat was at Pulau Lang with another group of divers

Washed up & stuffs to return Singapore

It was a pretty good dives
Saw turtle so many times
But I was expecting to see whale shark!
I kept hearing howls & calls underwater
Suspecting it could be whale or something
But I didnt see any shadow above me nor any silhouette at a distance
Kinda disappointed though

I hope I will still get my chance to see it before it goes extinct

Now I'm still scrubbing the stained petroleum on my boardshorts =\
Toilet stinks of turpentine solvent too

Anticipating Tioman dives next month! =)

More photos from DM Benson