Blog Log: 24 January 2010

trinchesia sp
Blog divers made some amazing finds in the Hantu Blog’s second private charter trip in the New Year, like this nudibranch which I think might be from the genus trinchesia although I’m not entirely sure.

glazed thuridilla gracilis
Another small critter on the reef was this Glazed thuridilla (Thuridilla gracilis). Though these little blugs look big in these pictures, neither of them are larger than an inch, and the trinchesia above is smaller than a centimeter!

serpent pteraeolidia ianthina juvenile
Though the adults can get to a size that makes them prominent on the reef, this juvenile Serpent pteraeolidia (Pteraeolidia ianthina) sort of looks like an adult that had most of its tail lobbed off! A rather macabre visualisation, but you’ve got to admit it!

ceratosoma
The best part of the 1st dive of this day (and not forgetting to mention my 1st dive at Hantu in over three months!) was that we encountered two large and one massive-sized Slender ceratosoma nudibranch on the reef! They may appear dull-coloured when you see them on the reef with your naked eye, but a flash of light helps us to see their real colours that gets masked out by the water and silt suspended between them and our masks.

blue gilled tambjagymnodoris 2
Other nudibranchs encountered were the Blue gilled tambja (left) and Gymnodoris. We saw a few of each of these two species. They are scuttling about on the reef in quite a hurry! Wonder what they were up to. There must have been something titillating a-sniff on the reef that we were unable to detect!

iconoclaster longimanuscoral reef
In the shallower depths, and eyes relaxed on object afar, the clear horizontal visibility let divers appreciate schools of damsel fish that gathered just beneath the water surface, as well as spot other cool critters on the reef that lead rather silent lives, like this Icon Seastar (right). Speaking of echinoderms, we also saw some large Diadema sea urchins!

sargassum algaemushroom coral
While waiting for the other divers to surface from their dive, I took to snorkeling around the patch reef and had lots of fun swimming through the sargassum algae, and watch small schools of fish part as I noisily kicked about on the surface. I also came across this bizarre-looking mushroom coral that looked like it has petals of a flower! How odd!

coral reef 2

dive boat skipper
The divers and even our skipper enjoyed the fair weather last Sunday! We were very fortunate as the water conditions were less favorable just a week before! The Hantu Blog relies on the experience of a very skilled skipper who’s been working the waters of Singapore for the past 40 years! He knows every reef and rock that dots around the Southern Islands and we’re proud to have him on our team!

diver
Divers reluctant to return to the boat, muck about the surface, watching the marine life go on down below.

For more pictures, check out the Hantu Blog Gallery.

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