Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pulau Semakau 20, 21 Aug 2011

A group of  twenty something took the ferry from West Coast Pier passing by P. Bakun - the petro-chemical island en route to Semakau Landfill island. We arrived at the little white rectangular complex ( upper right of below image). After an educational talk in the briefing room we were taken to our camping ground via the left loop ( ~4,2 Km). The island is carved up into segments / cells and progressively  filled with incinerated ashes from either Senoko or Tuas incinerators. There is still a wide region roughly the shape of a rectangle in the lower loop of the perimeter road, 2045 was the projection for the island to be totally filled with assumption of aggressive recycling effort in the near future. ( reduction on food wastage, recycling on building materials ).Water and diesel are have to be brought in by ship to this island by boat. The filled cell was now outgrown with tall grasses and small bushes . Casuarina ( with durian-like small fruit) with apparent absence of black beetles population, Sea hibiscus and Sea grapes lined the narrow asphard road.  I tasted the ripe sea grapes and it was not too bad. Two small booth- like toilets - one at the camping area and the other near Intertidal walk 'high way'.

Near camping ground is a three-blade wind mill which does not seems to rotate at all. Together with the  solar panel they provide energy to lit up the street lamps at night. We have the luck to have a good view of the southern sky - Pointers and the setting Southern Crux, a passing artificial satellite, a dim meteor we saw together and  long enough for me to trace the 'Teapot' or Sagittarius  stars to my companion.   P Bakun on the Eastern side were bathed in light.  Shortly afterwards clouds started to roll in.  I only managed to take a short duration Constellation of Scorpio at 1600 ASA.  

We pitched our tent under a short coconut tree. I could hear the leaves rattling in the slight breeze and the periodic calls of a gecko, zip/unzipping sounds of nearby tent occupants, a late night Birthday celebration and people scuffling around...  The tent screen mesh holes was too large - sand flies flew in and delivered painful bites here and there leaving small circular red spots with faintly much bigger 'yellowing zone'. So do bring your sand fly spray if you really want to spend the night there and tiny mesh to stop them flying in. Image of the tiny devil is included. 

Sat view  of Pulau Semakau 2009. We camped near the 'break' on the left loop a 4.2 Km away from the  complex.
If you look carefully there is a large patch of mangroove areas franking the left upper. ( inter-tidal walk area). The original  site of Pulau Semakau before linking up with P Sakeng ( see map below)

Kelong  not far from the shore

Raffles light house in the Southern side

Sea Grapes - the ripe ones are editable.  I tried .. not too bad.

Sea grapes inflorescences.

Daises and grasses against the rock

Small flowers at our feet.

This lovely plant  have pod-like legume.

The landfill is divided into cell #.

Wind mill and solar panel. 
Light Beacon.. i see no light .

Casuarina flowers and seed and reduced form scary leaves

Top view of the cylindrical pipe. Sampling tube? labelled Mxx

Puffball - mushroom
Relocated and replanted mangrove

Lookout tower there.

Cell#3 - reserved for bird watching instead of filling it up. 

This is land filled cell #2. overgrown with grass and 
I ventured  a short distance  still on pretty firm ground.

Handheld shoot of Scorpion Constellation 2 second exposure, ASA1600.
The Southern sky are darker unlike  the northern side of the glaring P Bukom Island

This is where we star gaze.

First ray... time to pack up.

Tiny but painful bite .. sand fly!!! Leaving red circular itchy spots.


Anonymous said...

This seemed to be an interesting place to go for the weekend~ Hope to jio my friends next time... Any lodging there?

qHt said...

Who should I approach for a tour?

Anonymous said...

See above link for who to approach to go there..