Journey of all sorts :D

Semakau 26.6.09

Posted in Guided walks by Aggy on June 28, 2009

After 2 exploratory trips early in the previous mornings, it was the 3rd day waking up early. Nevertheless, I looked forward to guiding the Stingrays :)

sunrise on board boat

On board the boat, we were greeted by the ever so effervescent yellow sun which never fails to get everyone to take photos.

stingrays crossing

Here are the ‘Stingrays’ crossing the seagrass lagoon, which is an important place for juvenile animals to seek food, shelter and protection from predators. The  ‘dead path’ that they cross has been specially designated, so as to minimize damage to the surrounding flora and fauna.


One of the first animals we saw after crossing the seagrass lagoon was the ovum cowrie (Cypraea ovum). The shell of a cowrie is shiny and smooth to touch because the cowrie uses its mantle (part of the body) to enclose the shell. This helps to protect itself from animals and algae. Unfortunately like many snails with pretty shells, they are threatened by collectors.

I strongly discourage shell-collecting as you’re either inadvertently taking the cowrie away from its habitat or a home from the hermit crab!!

sea stars mating

A pair of common sea stars was mating and we can see them alternating their arms. The male which is usually smaller, is on top of the larger female and they release the sperm and eggs simultaneously into the water so that there is a higher chance of pro-creating.

moon snail front & back

Never judge a book by its cover!
… What I mean of course is this oval moon snail hiding in its shell. The picture on the left shows the top of the shell whereas the one on the right shows the foot of the snail.

Pretty but ferocious, it actually eats other snails! It suffocates the prey with its foot and sometimes before the prey can even come up to breathe, it secretes acid to soften the shell and uses its tongue-like radula to create a hole to feed.


The knobbly sea star aka chocolate chip because the knobs on the body looks like it. These sea stars come in other colours such as red and orange and can grow up to about 30cm. Sea stars require seawater to regulate around their bodies so we should try our best to not take them out of the water for too long.

ribbon worm

Moving at its own pace, albeit rather slowly is this long ribbon worm. It is venomous and delicate so do not ever touch or handle them!

turban snail

The ‘cat’s eye’ of this sea snail never fails to intrigue me. With its beautiful colour, some coastal communities use them as buttons or to make jewellery. However, this ‘cat’s eye’ acts like a door for the turban shell. This helps to protects itself from predators while the body is retracted into the shell.

giant clam

Have you ever watched cartoons and saw clams clipping people’s fingers?!

━━Σ(゜Д゜|||)━━ !!       << Japanese emoticon for being shocked

Fear not, for that will not happen. Even at low tide (as seen from the photo above) the shell of this giant fluted clam does not close completely and you can see part of the mantle being exposed. The wavy structure makes it perhaps slippery and difficult for predators to climb in, thus deterring them to feed on the flesh of the clam.

heart cockle

It was a pleasant surprise to see this slightly pinkish heart cockle. The shell opens from ‘the centre of the heart’ and you are looking at the convex side in this photo.

flower crab

The Stingrays also got to see the moult of the flower crab. The sharp pincers help the crab to hunt for prey and defend itself when it senses danger. And yes… you can cook and eat a flower crab. Our local zi char stalls should have them.

kim meiyi ag

I took a photo with fellow Semakau guides :D – Kim and Meiyi – at the southern tip of Singapore that the public can access. In the background of the photo above, you may be able to spot these 2 islands (below).

raffles lighthse and viola

Raffles lighthouse on the left and Pulau Viola (or violin) on the right. The southern-most point of Singapore, Raffles lighthouse… I’ve always wanted to go there for an exploratory trip. Hopefully my dream can come true next month! :)


3 Responses

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  1. Ang & Family said, on June 29, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Many thanks for the guide. we appreciated your kind deed. Do keep in touch and God Bless.


    From us, “Stingrays”

  2. Aggy said, on June 29, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    thank you “Stingray Angs” ! :)

  3. sengkangbabies said, on April 7, 2011 at 12:12 am

    popping by from “semakau” search, very informative, and I love the tides

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