Note: I lost my camera right after this trip (while washing up in the toilet I think), so no photos of this trip
I used to stay at Tanah Merah for about 5 years or so, and I’d always hear about people going to Tanah Merah and all these wonderful shore life found there, and wondered where on earth is this Tanah Merah? Cos all I saw were housing estates, the MRT station, a field-turned-another-condo-estate and a little patch of forest, if that bit of trees there may be so called.
And then 2 years ago, there was this massive oil spill off the coast of Changi on 25 May 2010, and Tanah Merah was quite badly affected. Andy Dinesh put out a call for action to help cleanup the beach on World Environment Day, 5 June, and a group of friends and I went. (I wasn’t blogging at that time but here’s a post by Ria if you’d like to read.) So that was my first trip to the Tanah Merah beach. My subsequent few trips to Tanah Merah were also for cleanup, if I remember correctly, the first and second year-round coastal cleanups at Tanah Merah that we had.
So last Friday, on World Oceans Day (8 June), I went down to explore Tanah Merah, in particular the seawall with its spectacular corals. It was a really low tide, so the corals right at the bottom of the seawall were exposed. The climb down was really precarious, cos there’d be a segment that was algae covered and really slippery, and then after that it’d be covered with barnacles. And once you’re at the bottom of the seawall, there are so many corals, you don’t know where to step either!
I tried to walk the entire length of the seawall, but it was getting harder to clamber over the rocks, and I was dreading having to walk the same length back, and so gave up about 2/3s of the way. But it was nice to see many different kinds of corals there, boulder corals, branching corals, plate corals etc. I realised that right underneath the jetty though, there weren’t any corals growing. The shade from the jetty perhaps?
Ah wells, though I lost my camera, it was nice to see the coral garden at Tanah Merah, finally (: And my fullest respect to Kok Sheng who used to survey the corals there mostly on his own but couldn’t do so on that day because of an injury.