monitoring session on 17 June

17 06 2007

So after yesterday’s episode (all the lateness…) we all managed to reach Labrador Park on time. Or as much on time as possible, given the heavy, heavy downpour around central Singapore. We nearly hoped that today’s session would be cancelled, we weren’t trying to slack, but the rain was really very heavy. But Mr Lim dashed all our hopes by saying that if we didn’t do it today, it would be hard for us to find another day with as low a tide as today’s.
However, at 10 minutes past 7, the gate was still not open, so we had to climb over the railing and “crab walk” along the ledge to get to the ramp. We also packed our ponchos in preparation for an expedition tomorrow and thus, had to carry umbrellas. Which we couldn’t while climbing over the rail and thus, got thoroughly wet.
After we managed to get into the beach safely, we placed our bags under the bridge and prepared to get even more wet! As I was the one who was going to measure the seagrass, I had the honour of wearing a poncho of Ms Siti’s, while the rest had to carry around their umbrellas. However, i ended up even more wet than the rest…
As we had left our all-important file and clipboard locked up in school, Siling had to print out new copies of the data sheet. These data sheets were not waterproof, unlike the ones which were given to us. Thus, we were slightly worried that our data would get smudged. However, we tried to work as quickly as possible.
The tide was already rising when we started at 7.22 am, so we quickly improvised. Initially, Sihui and I would measure and do the quadrat-reading, with Siling being the sole recorder. However, Ms Siti realised it was too slow, and thus, we split up into two teams – with Ms Siti measuring and Sihui recording, and I measuring and Siling recording.
Siling and I quickly recorded, and saw some interesting things such as Soft Corals which have been uprooted and another species of Soft Corals. However, due to the rain, we didn’t manage to catch sight of any crabs. We managed to cover 33 quadrats between us and Ms Siti and Sihui, while Mr Lim took the GPS coordinate readings of around the Thalassia hemprichii patch and the Halophila ovalis patch. We managed to do everything by 8.04 am. By that time, the rain was already lessening. We quickly washed up and while Ms Siti and Mr Lim went off, the three of us waited for Sihui and Siling’s parents to pick us up and go for breakfast(:

We checked on our little patch of Thalassiawith-holes-in-the-sheath and it’s still safe and sound! Hopefully it would remain this way till Ms Siti goes to collect the samples 😀

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First trip to Labrador Park

2 03 2007

After school on 2 March, we cabbed down to Labrador Park for our first visit there. Unfortunately, when we reached there, there was a heavy thunderstorm so the three of us and Mr Lim had to hide away in the pavilions for some time. ):Finally, the rain lessened enough for us to proceed, so we got out our ponchos and put it on above our heavy schoolbags while Mr Lim got out his umbrella. Then we put on our nice new bootees and got ready for our walk along the beach.

And so we walked on the wet, grainy sand on the beach. Mr Lim introduced us to the seagrasses and algae along the coast and we said our hellos to the patch of tiny Halophila ovalis, otherwise known as “spoon seagrass”. We also saw the red, brown and green algae on the rocky shores of the beach. While we trudged on, Mr Lim constantly gave us suggestions on the types of questions we could use for our project and the different factors that might affect the growth of seagrass.

As this was our first visit to LabradorPark and merely for familiarization and getting to know the area, we only had a short walk and soon after returned to the pavilion for our discussion on the areas we were covering for our research and the factors that affected the rate of seagrass growth.

What are the factors that affect the rate of seagrass growth?

  1. Type of substrate (rocky/ sandy, size of grain/ rocks)
  2. Turbidity (clarity of water)
  3. Other competitors (for instance, the algae that we saw)
  4. Extent of submersion in water (might affect vertical growth of seagrass)

 We ended the discussion after concluding and coming up with a to-do list for the rest of the week. (:

*Because we only walked for a rather short distance due to the tidal conditions, we only saw one species of seagrass, the Halophila ovalis, but according to Mr Lim, there was still at least one more species of seagrass growing at Labrador Beach, namely the “tape seagrass”, Enhalus acoroides.