Blog Log: April 18, 2011

Date April 21, 2011

Hantu is BURSTING WITH COLOURS! And no one captures the critters of Hantu’s reefs quite like our volunteer guides. Below: Slender ceratosoma nudibranch
Brilliantly coloured critters just seem to pop out of the sandy silt bottomed reefs of Hantu. Before the Hantu Blog was established, divers would comment about how there is little to see in Hantu’s reef. A large part of that had to do with inexperienced or unguided diving experiences in local reefs. The Hantu Blog has changed that. It’s wonderful to see how far we’ve come.
Hantu’s sandy reef slopes are home to many outstanding gobies. The ever alert burrowing fish quickly zip into their underground safe havens with so much as the sound of the bubbling regulator. This makes them hard to spot, and even more challenging to approach and photograph. Jimmy demonstrates that he’s got the patience and heedfulness to approach these skittish creatures with care. Below: Yellow shrimp goby
An eye that is accustomed to the conditions of local waters can also spot creatures that thrive because they are able to be “invisible”. Although the Allied cowrie (below) appears very obvious in this photograph, a diver with an untrained eye is likely to swim right past this whip coral without batting an eyelid.
Another critter that’s a master of disguise is this Winged pipefish (below). This amazing fish are almost impossible to spot. Since we first spotted them a few years ago, our guides have been spotting them on a regular basis, to the delight of the divers who join us for our public trips.
Not only will a diver see more with the company of an experienced guide, they will LEARN more, and this is essential to our work. Despite hundreds of dives in local waters, the guides and myself continue to be thrilled and awed at the variety of life that exists along Singapore’s developed coastline! Below: Carpet eel blenny
Some of our guides pride themselves in able to find what they set out to find! This means they are no longer relying on luck to find the critters on our reef. Some critters are better encountered during specific seasons, tides, weather, depth, and in or on certain substrates – knowledge of all of these factors and more contribute to an outstanding underwater experience at Hantu that leaves visitors proud to be able to call this reef a unique aspect of Singapore’s small yet extremely diverse coast. Below: Hantu Blog mascot, Tigertail Seahorse
Hantu - April 07 (seahorse)
To view more pictures from this dive, visit the Hantu Blog Gallery.

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