Urban Tropical Ecology in Singapore

Adventures in Snorkeling -or- When Trigger Fish Attack
by -- March 24th, 2012

 

We woke up early to a beautiful sunrise on the island and a great breakfast prepared by the staff. Afterward we practiced our snorkeling in the shallows off the beach. Less than 100 m from our site was a reef with giant clams, sea stars and anemone with clownfish.

Welcome to Dayang Island

Then we loaded the boat and went to the small island in the channel between Dayang and Aur. We eased (or jumped) off the boat into an even better reef of great brain and staghorn corals, lots of fish, and over 20 colors of parrot fish. We snorkeled around there for a while, then on the way back to the boat several of us had a run in with a trigger fish.

Sunrise at Dayang

I saw the fish below me in the water and just marveled at its size (between 18-24 inches). I didn’t know exactly what it was. I continued on my way to the boat. A few seconds later I feel a sharp tug on my fin. I flip around and I see what looks like a very angry fish. It charged me again and swam at me very fast. All I could do was try to keep my fins between me and it and keep kicking, in the hopes to scare it off. It bit my fin again and turned back. I was swimming as fast as I could for the boat. When we were all on the boat two of the crew jumped off with a knife to try and catch the trigger fish for dinner. The didn’t have any more luck than we did. The final score was Trigger fish 8, Humans 0. We headed back to lunch and a nap in the shade on the cottage deck. Then we went out again for an afternoon snorkel.

Dining at Dayang

A few of my classmates and I were lucky enough to see a hawksbill sea turtle. When we got back we had some dinner and played beach volleyball with some of the staff. After a long day most of us turned in early, a few stayed up to enjoy the night and some card games.

Our site on the beach

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