May 17, 2006

1000th visitor to Kusu Reef Walk!

The day started "normally" enough at 4am ... picked up Han Chong and his friend Grace (who apparently had a nice nap in the back of my van on the way there) from my place to Pasir Panjang Ferry Terminal ... only to find that the gate to the carpark was closed!! A frantic and haressed Ming Sheng finally got cars organised to ferry people through another gate, and Bernard managed to rouse the security guard to open the locked gates. The minor bump in the road set us back by 30 minutes, but we managed to make that up with a very fast ferry ride (about 25 min).

Guides and participants waiting outside the carpark gates of the Pasir Panjang Ferry Terminal.

Torches, something you normally don't carry around, came in handy this morning ... I bet the inhabitants of the lagoon thought that E.T. was visiting them :)

So, the walk started in darkness for most groups, but soon the sun peeked over the horizon and by the time it showed its merry face, we were about half done with the walk. I had originally been tasked to take photos to fill in the gaps for our guide training presentation, but was roped in to guide last minute due to an over supply of visitors. Nonetheless, I managed to get some photos:

Limpets on a rock. Limpets are mollusks that seal themselves in with a small amount of water so they don't dry out while the tide is out. In WW2, scuba commandos would sink enemy ships using "limpet mines" - mines that that had a strong magnet and were stuck to the bottom of ships.

Barnacles are crustaceans that spend all of their adult life on their backs ... they stick their legs out into the water and filter food particles. Unlike the limpets (which has a single complete shell) the barnacle's "shell" is composed of a series of plates. The hinged "doors" at the top of the shell lock tight when the tide goes out, trapping a small amount of water.

Some of the guides having a well-deserved breakfast after the walk.

This walk ended on a high note for the Reef Walk programme, as we celebrated the occassion of our 1000th visitor to Kusu. As previously reported by Ming Sheng, BWV was formed on 14th February 2004, Reef Walks commenced on 14th November 2004, and this was our 14th reef walk. A happy coincidence of the number 14!

Ying Ying, our 1000th Reef Walker! Congrats and thanks for your support! Also, check out MS in our BWV polo-T!

We also celebrated the graduation of our latest batch of guides, and also presented certificates of appreciation to people who have helped previously with the Reef Walks, either as organisers or as trainers.

Trond, one of our graduating guides, who is also doing his Masters degree at NUS.

Yihao, one of the many who received a certificate of appreciation (for his previous work in the Reef Walk committee).

As a final note, you will notice our guides spotted our brand new, hot off the press polo-Ts ... a nice solid navy blue colour, the polo-Ts had a simplified BWV logo embrioded on the front, and, for those who requested, our names on the right sleeve. This would give our volunteers a greater sense of identity and presence at our events.

I am sure the next group of reef walkers will have as good a time as we did at the next Reef Walk on May 28. Thanks for all your support and see you all soon!

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