Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas on Chek Jawa

I find myself loafing off at work playing with Photoshop 9 because I so badly miss that frakkin software on my own laptop. @#!@#$.

Is there a support group for post-Christmas-feasting depression? I think I could use some erh, assurance, support, flab-empowerment and what have you right now.

Christmas day was spent helping Kok Sheng on his CJ project checking in on the animals he's been monitoring. He was particularly worried this month due to new reports of floods in Johor, which was what originally caused the mass deaths on Chek Jawa due to a massive drop in salinity.

Working on the peacock anemones he assigned me to the last time, I had 3 other teammates to help slug it out on the mud this time, and to keep my blurness in check as I spaced out a couple of times over the 10m quadrats. We had a good leisurely time because the low tide was rather long and we'd set up the quadrat markers the last trip.

Kok Sheng patiently orientated me as the tide went out and helped me find the markers we set in previously. Sounds easier than it really is especially for a blur bunny like me. Once we locate a quadrat, we had to mark out the original 10m square using 2 PVC poles, a hammer, 40m rope and a GPS map. Then, we proceed to locate all peacocks in the quadrat and measure them individually.

Ria caught us goofing off over a peacock anemone.

Eve eve on Sunday was spent doing monitoring along east-west transects on Chek Jawa as well. That was also good fun but tiring as hell especially along the 500m transect line OMG.

But my team was awesome. Yay. Kok Sheng has a wonderful post of the animals we saw and the humans struggling over the mud.

I can't wait to get photos from YC of the cute things we saw that day: this huge-ass volute, the tiniest sea star I've ever seen (smaller than the width of my finger and I have small fingers!), a tiny bivalve that looked like a razor struggling on the surface of the mud looking for a place to dig into, some cute lil swimming 'nems and a small, funny orange-spotted crab.

The highlight of the day could possibly be having champagne on the intertidal to celebrate Christmas, New Year, and the last lowish low tide of the year. Bubbly is always good to me! And having it on gorgeous Chek Jawa is probably a poignant statement in itself. A first for me and somewhat surreal, toasting on the intertidal has been a tradition for the past 6 years.

Have a good lazy New Year and please everyone get fat with me.

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