Corals at Keppel Bay

Date September 3, 2009

Gorgonian coral growing on the side of the pontoon

Gorgonian coral growing on the side of the pontoon.

Ria Tan calls me at 4pm today and asks if I had any plans for the evening. I did, but I wanted to hear what exciting news she was bearing that couldn’t wait.

Turns out, Francis Olsen, Chief Marina Officer at Marina at Keppel Bay, learned about what wonderful stuff there is in Singapore waters, thanks to Ria’s skipper, Alex of Summit Marine, who in turned learned more about Singapore marine life whilst accompanying Ria on her intertidal surveys.

After speaking to his Pier Master, Roy, who’s a diver, and who’s dived and taken heaps of cool pictures of the creatures that live practically ON and around the marina’s pontoons, Francis was eager to do more for local marine life and would like to establish educational signs all over the marina to members, boaters, and members of the public who drop by for a walk-around may learn more about the kind of stuff that lives, breathes and reproduces right beneath our noses!

The cool thing about marine life-watching from the pontoons is that you don’t have to get wet. At least not totally. Ria did get a little wet, up to her wrist at least, while she dipped her waterproof camera and torch into the water to get a closer look at some of the sea cucumbers, sea slugs, fishes, crabs, shrimps and corals that hide amongst the soft corals, algae, oysters, scallop, barnacles and anemones cramming onto the submerged surfaces of the pontoons.

Today’s meeting is to be the beginning of some exciting days and nights of exploration at Keppel Bay. The Hantu Blog and Marina at Keppel Bay will be making arrangements for to do some exploration dives within its marina to get a better idea of the kind of sea life that can be discovered.

Soft coral growing on the side of the pontoon. There were heaps of corals like these. Imagine what it's like underwater!

Soft coral growing on the side of the pontoon.

The waters within the marina are very clean, not only because it is an open circuit, meaning the water can flow right through the marina, but also because Keppel Bay have made significant efforts to scoop out and remove any floating debris that drifts into the marina. Gray waste from large vessels is also pumped right out into a septic system instead of into the sea. They call it the “reticulated vacuum sewer pump-out“. They are the first and only Marina in Singapore to have this facility. In addition, Ria and I also found out that this facility within the Marina is free for all boaters to use, that is, they don’t have to be members of the Marina, and they charge no berthing fees for vessels that come in to use this service! So if you’re a boater and were always concerned about how to get rid of your sewage in an environmentally-friendly manner, now you’ve found a source!

I expect the dives there to be full of surprises!

Ria took more and better photos than I. Check out more of what we saw on her Wild Shores Blog!

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