Boon Kang would like to swim in Sisters’ Islands (姐妹岛)’ lagoons. This pair of Southern islands have been designated as Singapore’s first marine park.
When we arrived at Sisters’ Island (big island) pier, sky is still dark. During this period, the tide is lowest, thus optimal to spot the marine creatures.
With coconut trees swaying by the coastline, the backdrop could be a beach resort from Malaysia or Thailand. (sing Sisters’ Island, Sunny Island Set in the Sea)
Amazing sunrise from across the horizon.
All of us are eager to explore Singapore’s first Marine Park.
Map of Singapore’s offshore islands. Sisters’ Islands are directly below Sentosa.
(map credit coralreef.nus.edu.sg)
The visitors are split into three groups, there are two lagoons on Big Sisters’ Island. As the tide is still low, we can walk straight into the lagoon.
Some of the plants and creatures which can only be seen during low tide. (Apologies as Daddy do not have the name for most of them). Our friendly guides will be most helpful to answer your queries 🙂
(From Left to Right) Anemone shrimps on the carpet anemone, Sea worm’s poo, and a single stalk of mangrove seedling.
Fluted Giant clam (we heard it is a delicacy) and Brain coral.
Guess why this snail is called Moon Snail? (hint: its egg case is round)
Starfish spotting. For some of us, this is the first time we are seeing the starfishes so near.
These starfishes are very well camouflaged, and they like to burrow themselves into the seabed.
Dead crab and rubbish can be seen littering the floor. Some of the rubbish float in during high tide and most rubbish are man-made.
For the kids, this is a fun and interactive outdoor classroom. Our guides will share which sea creatures we can touch. (gently please, and maybe leave the crab alone).
Forget about pepper crab, this Red Egg crab is not edible. Below pic is some sort of sea slug (Nudibranchs).
A tiny Octopus and Black flatworm (looks harmless but it actually leech itself onto its prey and suck them dry!). These creatures are placed in pails for us to understand more about them and they are released at the end of our trip.
Video : Tour of Sisters’ Island
Enthusiastic visitors soak up every nugget of information from our guides.
Patches of beautiful green seaweed, like an underwater meadow.
As our guide Ria is showing us the difference between seaweed and seagrass, offshore refineries are just across the sea.
Huge containers and oil tankers ply the busy waterway of Singapore, yet the marine diversity in Singapore’s offshore islands continues to thrive!
Not sure what is this plant, but it stands resolutely on its own. Against the elements, determined to flourish. A green petal of Life.
Exploration is possible on dry land too. We found so many casuarina seeds, and grasshoppers are thriving on this island (near extinct on mainland).
Fauna on the island.
As the tide slowly rises, we have come to the end of our 90 minutes tour.
Little bit of Sisters’ Islands history.
Before we board the ferry, try to spot the corals under the jetty.
Bye Bye Sisters’ Islands and our guides 🙂
The brothers enjoy their Sisters’ Islands trip. Although wading in the water with soggy socks might be uncomfortable, they still love the refreshing experience.
(image credit Pei Yan)
Tips to enjoy your Sisters’ Islands trip :
1) The ferry departs punctually from Pasir Panjang terminal. Do arrive early as the way in is not straightforward
2) If you are prone to seasick, do prepare a plastic bag. The Ferry is confined and air conditioned
3) At Sisters’ Island, follow your guide’s instruction. Try to walk in a single file as we want to sustain (and not kill) the marine life environment
4) Wear your bootie, boots or just wear your old running shoes. Socks will be wet, sandy and soggy. Enjoy the experience.
5) Monkeys inhabit the islands, do not expose your food or feed them
6) There is a toilet facility on the Island
** There are 4 more Sisters’ Islands tours before the end of 2014 (evenings slots). Do pop by Nparks link for the next schedule. Quick fingers are needed as many families will be trying to register.
7) Nparks’ Sisters’ Islands tours are Free. If you charter your own boat, it will be $300+