What are the kids saying about the Haze?

The adults’ lunch topics has shifted from Dengue, COE and MRT breakdowns to PSI, Facemask and stop-order. Maybe that Indonesian minister might agree Boon Kang’s Darth Vader mask looks childish.

Last Mon, if you live on the higher floors. You might have commented Singapore looks like Genting or Cameron Highlands, depending which direction you see. Our eyes and throats are uncomfortable with the burning sensation from the polluted atmosphere.

And that was only at PSI 100. Since then, we have hit PSI of 300 every day !

Singaporeans have a sense of humour, we joke about using recycled brassiere (please wash first!) if N95 face-masks run out of stock. Trending topics in social media is 95% about the HAZE, and 5% about Hello Kitty (wahaha !)

Referring to first photo, Daddy hopes Darth Vaders (masks) will not be roaming Singapore when PSI climbs higher. Meanwhile, someone from 9Gag even improvised a facemask made with Bread, Kaya or Peanut Butter?

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In the media, we are reading the problem from two perspectives.
From Singapore : We know the problem, but we cannot solve it.
From Indonesia : We are trying our Best, year after year.

In summary, Daddy told the kids Indonesia’s farmers (Sumatra) are burning a lot of land so that they can prepare it for crops plantation. Slash and burn might sustain the farmers’ families livelihood, but the wind will carry the smoke to neighbours Singapore and Malaysia. Daddy ask kids whether they will purposely smoke-out their neighbour’s hall ?

Meanwhile, Ministry of Health (MOH) has some Health Advisory to combat the Haze.

[Image credit MOH fanpage]

Daddy suspect history will repeat itself again, no wonder the general public can only resort to mockery to reduce the misery. Since the adults cannot do anything much, Daddy tries to ask for some tips from the kids 🙂

Kids are stuck at home during the school holidays, the windows are mostly closed, and kids are asking for their “Sunny days“!

Yes Boon Kang, no one likes to wear a mask…

School holidays should be full of FUN, not cooped at home 🙁
Parents and teachers, do take this opportunity to ask the kids to share their opinions (and maybe recommendations) to improve the Hazy situation.

If you do not mind, do share your kids’ drawings and stories with us on our Blue-SkyGreen-Fields fanpage album. Daddy would like to tell more adults about how the kids are affected by the Haze.

** Rain Haze Haze go away, do not come back to Singapore again **

More Haze Foggy details :
– http://www.nea.gov.sg
MOH Haze FAQ
– Twitter Hastag #SGhaze

Pulau Semakau intertidal walk rOCks !

Mention Pulau Semakau, or Lorong Halus, and you might cover your nose.
These landfill sites used to be, and continue to be Singapore’s dumping grounds. But Semakau also house Knobbly starfish, which are bigger than our face !

Daddy has heard a lot about Semakau before, how National Environment Agency (NEA) manage to cultivate and sustain the island’s ecosystem. Semakau is proof that landfills are not always about Rubbish 🙂

There was a video campaign under Semakau and NSS end April, and Daddy has volunteered himself for Nature Society Singapore‘s (NSS) Semakau trip.

The early morning downpour at Pasir Panjang Ferry terminal nearly derail our trip.

We brought the glorious Sun to Pulau Semakau 🙂

We can learn about how Singapore’s rubbish are first incinerated at Tuas, before the ash are towed to Semakau. More about Pulau Semakau here.

After our briefing, we head out to one corner of the island for our Intertidal walk. Intertidal means we can walk far out to shore when tides are low, and explore the rich inhabitants.

Regulars to intertidal walk came prepared with stylish boots ! (SAF shoe is Daddy’s)

As we were delayed by the rain, we need to speed up and cut through jungle trail. Hello mosquitos 🙂

An amazing sight awaits us at the exit of the trail. Our eyes can scan the entire coastline. Start wading !

The water has risen (we lose an hour due to the rain), but still got pretty much to explore !

As Singapore is an island surrounded by busy straits and container ships. We can see heavy industries all around us. It is always amazing how our ecosystem continues to strive 🙂

No wonder this is intertidal walk. In low tide, all sorts of seafood sealife is exposed ! It is very therapeutic to walk ankle deep in the sea. We try to walk in a single file, so as not to disturb the ecosystem. Occasionally, our guide will shout “stingray” !

Knobbly starfish aplenty. This is the first time most of us have seen starfish so HUGH, and upclose ! Pardon our excitement, but we can spot a colony every ten steps.

Whenever we gather, we spot new interesting stuffs. NSS guides will help us to identify the shells, fishes, seaweeds and other organisms flourishing here at Semakau.

Daddy even spotted a hugh seabass (60cm) lingering around, it might be injured, and maybe it is from a nearby fishery farm?

Wildlife galore

Back on the bank, a lone mangrove. We can spot countless fiddler crabs hiding in the mangrove’s root. The morning’s exploration has been nothing short of eXcitement !

After our short rest at Semakau’s admin building, we went to checkout the island’s scenic spots.

Mangroves, fish-farms, and we can even spot Raffles Lighthouse (Daddy visited beacon in 2011Apr) from a corner.

Beautiful and tempting lagoon under the hot sun, but no swimming allowed 🙁
We even spotted a baby black-tip reef shark.

Pulau Bukom across the straits..

Walk further inland, and we can spot the island’s different plants and ferns.

Before heading back, we witness sunset away from Singapore mainland. Watching the sunset over the sea at Semakau can be an romantic experience, as there are no tall buildings to block our view.

Bye Bye Semakau, we will miss you! We overheard Yvonne (NEA representative) mention that she has been here five times, and every experience is different !

Additional tips for enjoying Semakau
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1) Your shoes will get muddy and dirty, do not bother to clean up, just enjoy the walk.

2) Walk slowly, as you do not want to minimise disturbance to ecosystem, and you do not wish to fall and let your expensive camera equipment swim !

3) Daddy would not recommend kids below 8 years old to visit. Semakau itinerary is whole day, and can be tiring.

4) For DSLR users, get use to manual focus, the constant ripples make it hard for camera to focus.
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City view from behind a field of lalang.

We can only enjoy Pulau Semakau’s intertidal walk, through NSS and NEA. If you prefer to catch galaxy star-trails, you need to stay over night with Tasos.

Daddy would like to thanks NSS (Ter Yang) and NEA for hosting us, and the friendly guides (Han Chong and Alice) for sharing so much knowledge with us.

Our blog cannot justify the beauty of Semakau, please drop by SengkangBabies album for more photos of the day itself.
–> Semakau Album

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** Our blog are finalists in OMY’s Singapore Blog awards, if you love our kids, Read our story, and Vote for us 🙂

* updated 2014OCt – Checkout other intertidal walks from Sengkangbabies too, Chek Jawa and Sisters’ Islands.