Thank you, from a living reef.

Date December 23, 2017

Nudibranch : (Tenellia) Trinchesia sibogae
Did you visit Pulau Hantu this year? If you did, THANK YOU! Your love, adoration, curiosity, and most of all, your VOICE is what gives Pulau Hantu the life and recognition she needs to remain a part of our national heritage. Above: Nudibranch, Trinchesia sibogae

Nudibranch : Gymnodoris sp.
She changes constantly. Sometimes she has a good day, sometimes a bad one. Some days she’s really quiet, and you can’t quite make out what’s going on. But then, don’t all of us go through days like these? It’s a sign that she is alive – not a gallery, where every exhibit is cataloged and listed. When we pop in for a visit, we don’t know what to expect. Everything is unexpected and a surprise! Above: A very young and adorable nudibranch, Gymnodoris sp.

Bentstick Pipefish, Trachyrhamphus bicoarctatus
Our reef is old, but also young. Some parts of her are over a century old, while others are still growing. Some parts of her die and break away, but other animals soon move in to make a new home in the crevices and caverns she leaves behind. Whether alive or dead, she still gives life! Above: Bentstick Pipefish, Trachyrhamphus bicoarctatus

Cuttlefish on Sargassum
She is strong, but also fragile. While she has what it takes to live across multiple human generations, she is also sensitive to change, and can get hurt. I suppose, that is not unlike us humans who could be feeling fine at body temperature of 37°C but ill at 38°C. Like us, she too can recover from illness, if we recognise the symptoms early and apply the right remedy. The more we visit her, the better our chances of spotting an illness! But more importantly, the more we visit the more we discover and learn! Above: Young cuttlefish on a blade of sargassum algae.

Lined chromodoris nudibranch. Chromodoris lineolata.
Like all living things, her life depends on the lives of others. How we live affects her, and how she lives affects us. There is so much we don’t know about her, and I suppose that’s what keeps us going back. Generations of divers from home and abroad have explored her reefs in different ways – as fishers or boaters, as divers or shore walkers. And she keeps on giving, not just to the fishes and the sea slugs, but to the sea grass and mangrove trees. To the rocks and the reefs. To birds, and sea snakes, and the shy sea turtle. Above: Lined chromodoris nudibranch Chromodoris lineolata

Don’t stop exploring and adoring our reefs.

Icon seastar (5mm)
If you have walked or dived with us this year, thank you for being a voice for Singapore reefs… Above: Young Icon seastar Iconaster longimanus

Icon seastar
We look forward to growing with you, and Pulau Hantu, well into the exciting future. Above: Mature Icon seastar

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