Monday, June 16, 2008

Diving off the Coast of Similajau, Bintulu, Sarawak - Part 1

I was on a field trip with Dr. Lee Nyanti of UNIMAS and his team on 7th – 11th June 2008. He was going to do some dives off the coast of Similajau to do coral reef surveys plus marine fauna surveys and sampling. Not quite my area of expertise but being in the outdoors never ceased to thrill the adventurous side of me.

To get to the diving spots, we had to first get to Similajau coast. We hired a boat from one of the local fisherman (a friendly chap named Effendi and his crew Hisham) at Kuala Nyalau village, a fishing village located at the estuary of Nyalau River, 70km from Bintulu town. Kuala Nyalau is one of three Kedayan villages located along the Nyalau River, which drains into the South China Sea.

The UNIMAS team, led by Dr. Lee Nyanti, comprised Dr. Lim Po-Teen - a plankton specialist, Dr. Andrew Alek Tuen – a terrestrial flora and fauna specialist, Jongkar Grinang – aquatic and macrobenthic specialist, and technical assistant Amin Mangi. On Sunday 8th June, we took the boat out for as far 1 km parallel to the coastline, and Dr. Lee selected 4 dive spots of about 2-3 km apart, up to the mouth of Similajau River.

Weather was fine and sunny. Some of the photos I took are shown here.

Dr. Lim managed to collect one lobster species at one of the dive spots (exact location is kept confidential) and according to these guys, the lobster is a juvenile. Imagine how big a fully grown one could be.

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