Showing posts from 2006

Be careful what you wish for...

After numerous comments upon my return about how much weight I've gained (Wah, pui liao! ...Ni hao xiang pang le...Eh, have you gained weight ah? etc etc), I was already planning out a whole exercise regime to stay in shape. However, how was I supposed to resist consuming all the local fatty goodies, knowing that I may not get to eat them again for a year or so??

My problem was miraculously solved just after Christmas, for I was stricken by a terrific bout of food poisoning. I've scarcely eaten any solid food since Monday, and scarcely retained whatever scarce amounts I've consumed, mainly subsisting on mint tea, fruit juice and Pocari Sweat. Even when faced with my fave foods (like the thought of having satay for supper), my stomach churns and a wave of nausea overcomes me. As you may imagine, I'm superbly miserable. So this is what it feels like to have a tiny appetite. Eeews! Plus I don't know how some women can tahan taking laxatives in order to lose weight. The…

Juvenile sweetlips at Sisters Darat

16th December 2006

Always too late to say goodbye...

The first time it happened, I was devastated. This second time, I don't know what to feel. Is it some weird coincidence, or just a really twisted cosmic joke? I don't know, I probably should not read too much into the meaning of it all.

My maternal grandfather had a stroke some years before, but his condition worsened in June 2004. My mother and brother went up by car the same day they got the call, while I was still at work. She told me not to worry as they had quite a few false alarms before, plus I was supposed to leave for Okinawa to attend ICRS in two days. Somehow, I couldn't stop worrying. I took the first flight out to Penang the next morning, but he passed away shortly after the plane took off. All I could do was to attend the wake.

My paternal grandmother lived in Kuala Lumpur with my grandaunt. I suppose she always liked to be independent, and still drove around on her own in a manual car. A few weeks ago, my sister emailed saying that she suffered a fall and brok…

An open letter to REACH, on proposed developments in the Southern Islands

I read with interest the news articles recently on developing the Southern Islands off Sentosa into a playground of the rich and famous. Although I'm glad these lovely islands are in the limelight and receiving attention to promote them as attractions, I view the proposed plans with some trepidation.

As a nature guide with the Blue Water Volunteers' ReefWalk programme, I have brought numerous visitors to explore the marine life on the reefs of Kusu Island on several occasions. Over the months, we have spotted myriad creatures including dolphins, stingrays, anemone shrimps, clownfishes, seastars, and a hodgepodge of brilliantly patterned flatworms and sea slugs, as well as entertained and educated over a thousand enthusiastic visitors.

Many of the articles mention some form of development- luxury homes, hotels, spas, or even a second Palm Island. Ms Pamelia Lee was even quoted on Channelnews Asia as saying that plans to use coral stone as construction material would be considered…

Underwater Florida!!

Aquarius is one of my fave places to hang out underwater, as you can always see all kinds of cool stuff around there...such as this barracuda, getting itself all spruced up by a cleaning wrasse.

Big big ray!

Lots and lots of fish always...

Steve and his friends

So there're things to amuse yourself with during safety stops. Once though, we got a real special treat..

Guess who came to visit?

Didn't stay for long though, sigh!

Large groupers are called jewfish here (don't ask me why though)! This one was hanging out under the top grating of Aquarius!

Aquarius itself is situated on Conch Reef, where we spent a lot of our time working on the permanent Xestospongia muta transects.

Conch Wall- the 'tourist' part of Conch Reef. The rest is a restricted area meant for research only!

There's really not much coral on the reefs here compared to the Indo-Pac; last I checked, the average cover was around 6%. But there's still stuff growing, and you can see a multitude of seafans, …

Notes from Florida

Okay, seems like I should blog about my recent field trip to Florida first, and the rest just have to wait till later!

Met my labmates a couple of Sundays ago to drive down to Key Largo from Wilmington on a cold frosty morning at 6am. 15 hours later, the socks, gloves, scarf and sweaters were off and we were in warm and balmy Florida!

Look at the sky!

We stayed in a really nice apartment, which we had to share with the US Navy, so 5 of us squeezed into one bedroom. The condo was situated above a small lab and dive facility, with the boat right in the backyard, docked in the canal leading out to the sea. How luxurious!

Couldn't dive on the first day due to windy conditions at sea, so we stayed in to sort out gear, make larval traps out of nylon stockings and vexar, and Susanna, Sven and myself took Tim's car out to various marinas to look for a particular tunicate.

How you look for tunicates

While we were facedown on the floating pontoon looking for a tunicate shaped like a potato, S…

Food Fest!

Yup, it's been some time since I posted. But rather than jump straight to Florida (awww...) thought I'll keep things in chronological order, so here're some pics of the food fest I attended, organised by the Mrytle Grove Presbytarian Church in Wilmington a couple of weeks ago. Was asked to bring a dish to represent Singapore/Malaysia, so I prepared chicken curry!

Rasaku spice packet

Brahmins spice packet

Wah, my whole apartment smelled of chicken curry for a couple of days afterwards!

Lots of people brought food too! Like this one!

Check out the bottle on the left...

The food table before the hordes attack
Your Birthdate: November 9
You are a born idealist, with more pet causes than you can count.
You prefer be around others, both when working and while relaxing.
Generous and giving, you believe you can change the world one person at a time.
You're open minded and tolerant. People feel like they can tell you anything.

Your strength: Your go-with-the-flow flexibility

Your weakness: Your flair for the over dramatic

Your power color: Pine green

Your power symbol: Circle

Your power month: SeptemberWhat Does Your Birth Date Mean?


THANK YOU EVERYONE for your really sweet and nice wishes!!!

It's been an excellent birthday, and yup, that's my real age up there. I don't see any reason to hide it!

Went out diving with the lab today, scraped metal tags, collected sponge larvae, nosied around the underwater lab, Aquarius..and then went out for a really nice sushi dinner, complete with hot sake (which was good!). I even received a complimentary tempura ice-cream ball from the restaurant- so sweet!

Went window shopping at a dive supply shop with Sven and Steve after dinner, then came back to another ice-cream cake, courtesy of my labbies! It was a Snickers-flavoured football cake! I was wondering what Tim was doing in the kitchen larder in the semi-darkness while he was trying to light the candles in secret....

Anyway, will post photos soon! Been diving everyday, not much time to edit photos and blog, plus there's so much to say!

But I really had to say Thanks to all of you!!! Miss you all!!

Vote your fave photo!

Thinking of taking part in a photo competition organised by International Programs, and submitting one under the theme of 'Animals and Natural Landscapes'. Supposed to show what the rest of the world is like... Anyway, I've decided to submit one of my underwater shots, which usually just languish in my folders on my hard drive (the offer of prize money helps, hehe). Narrowed down to these few, so help me choose which one to send in!

1. Close-up of an embedded oyster in a Porites colony under the Dayang jetty

2. Fish hiding within Acropora colony. Lembeh night dive.

3. Lembeh nudibranch

4. Sipadan Hypselodoris?

5. Sipadan Chromodoris

6. And one laying eggs! Sipadan

7. Sipadan- a curious turtle

8. Lembeh- Anemone shrimp

9. Sipadan

10. Sipadan's full of fish

11. Sipadan- a white-tip shark comes from the deep

12. Sipadan- Lionfish in full glory