Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sisters' Islands - the Marine Life Park

Early this year, I received an email from National Park (NP) that our application for the guided walk at Sisters' Islands on 21 January 2015, Wednesday (4.30pm to 7.30pm) was successful. We were so excited and almost felt like striking lottery.  Previously, I have tried booking the guided tour for Chek Jawa Wetland and Sisters' Islands.  Unfortunately, I failed to book several times despite stayed up late after midnight hoping for a slightest chance to secure the places.  It was always fully booked especially the time slots allocated during the weekends and school holidays. We wanted so much to experience the intertidal walk.  At last, we got it!  We were really lucky this time.
It was a pity that Papa was unable to join us for that guided tour due to work commitment.  Nevertheless, my boy was equally elated as me and could not wait to check out the Sister's Island.  I hurriedly fetched my son back home after school and, swiftly gave him instructions to get washed, dressed and ate his lunch. Quickly, I grabbed my backpack that were packed with diving boots, raincoat, water bottle and plastic bags and we were out of the house.  We took a taxi to the Pasir Panjang Ferry Terminal where we were supposed to meet at the 'Buzz' convenient store.  Along the way, my boy was worried that we might miss the ferry and kept asking me if we were late. We were not, of course!  When we reached the ferry terminal, we were greeted warmly by two marine biologists and eventually, became our guides for the day.  The group was mainly adults and a few children.  While waiting for the rest of the participants, my always hungry son got an ice cream cone treat from me I bought from the convenient store.  The ferry ride took us about 20 minutes to reach Big Sister's Islands.  
The Legend
Sister's Islands are Singapore first designated Marine Life Park.  There are, as a matter of fact, two islands namely Big Sister's Island, also known as Pulau Subar Laut, and Little Sister's Island, as Pulau Subar Darat.  There is a legend about two sisters called Minah and Linah.  A pirate came to ask for Linah's hand in marriage but rejected.  Linah was kidnapped by the pirate.  Minah then, jumped into the seawater to save her sister. Large wave engulfed them.  Both were gone after the storm.  Two islands later emerged at the spot they had perished which collectively known as Sisters' Islands now.

Pasir Panjang Ferry Terminal
Ferry ride
Big Sister's Island

We explored the small and the big lagoon which the latter apparently was a reclaimed land.  With our guides leading us, we walked in a single file in order not to step onto any marine creatures accidentally.  We were also not supposed to touch them on our own without permission for safety reason. Children, however, were so tempted to touch especially the sea stars and forget everything about it.  Interestingly, it was sea stars mating season and we sighted numerous having a 'party' as my boy put it across.  He did not say it once but a few times which left the adults humoured ;)

Mushroom anemone

Bucket used to contain the Sea Stars

Lets flip over

Mating - One on top of another
Footprint around it

What amazed us was the Giant clam!  It actually spit water when we waved our hands above like a motion sensor thing.  We had heaps of fun and thanks to the guides who imparted lots of valuable knowledge. On a separate note, it could be mind boggling for my boy (and even myself) over the scientific names of the marine life creatures.
This post was long overdue and I have also possibly forgotten some of the details/things that we have sighted.  

Giant Clam

Shy Land Hermit Crab
Octopus under the rock

Carpet anemone




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