Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Nature's IR: Sentosa's Natural Shores

At Sentosa, nature has had an integrated resort for a long long time! And tucked away in a corner of Sentosa, is a marvellous natural shore.

The Naked Hermit Crabs have specially designed an easy one-and-a-half-hour Family Trail to introduce kids 5 years and above to this shore during low tide. No need to swim or dive! Come with the whole family!

Some of the amazing NATURAL sights include spectacular cliffs with features such as 断魂崖 (i.e. Broken Soul Cliff). A lush coastal forest cloaks this cliff and is home to rare plants such as the Raffles pitcher plant and wild orchids. We will also explore the natural lagoon which has living corals, seagrasses and lots of marine life. Sea anemones, nudibranchs and colourful crabs are some of the sights we are sure to encounter.

There will be a little bit of climbing, and you will get your shoes wet when we explore part of the lagoon.

For the more hardy and fool hardy, the Naked Hermit Crabs have also designed an Adventure Trail on this shore! This trail is much longer and more physically demanding than the Family Trail. It takes about two and a half hours and is suitable for kids 13 years old and above.

This trail brings us past some spectacular cliff features including natural caves, scupltured pink rocks and other geological wonders.

Check out more photos from our previous adventures.

When is the next walk?
Date: Yet to be confirmed
Time: Yet to be confirmed
Duration of walk: Family Trail=1.5 hours, Adventure Trail=2.5 hours.
Cost: $5 per person (does not include Sentosa entrance fees and charges)
Exact details on meeting point will be provided to those who register for the walks.

More on what to prepare and other frequently asked questions.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Sentosa Walks: Frequently Asked Questions

When is the next walk?
Date: Yet to be confirmed
Time: Yet to be confirmed
Duration of walk: Family Trail=1.5 hours, Adventure Trail=2.5 hours.
Cost: $5 per person (does not include Sentosa entrance fees and charges)
Exact details on meeting point will be provided to those who register for the walks.

Why is the group size limited?
Firstly, there aren't many volunteers right now to help conduct the walks. Secondly, it's much more enjoyable for you if the group is small. You don't have to jostle to see or hear the guide, or the wildlife being discussed. Most importantly, we would like to minimise impact upon our shores. If we were unable to accommodate you this time around, hopefully you could join us in our future trips? If people enjoy our walks, we promise to continue to hold more of these walks.

Who is organising this walk?
The Naked Hermit Crabs! Who are we? Why are we naked? and more gruesome details.

Why are the walks charged?
Your contribution of $5 per person will help partially cover the costs of training and developing the walks. The bulk of costs are currently funded through personal contributions by the Naked Hermit Crabs. The Crabs will of course gratefully accept any additional donations to this cause! Thank you!

How to get there?
Nearest MRT station: Harbour Front
Buses and trains into Sentosa start from Harbour Front at 7am
Sentosa does not permit motorcycles on to the island.
Cars are permitted into Sentosa.
More about getting to Sentosa on the Sentosa website

Entrance fees to Sentosa
$3 per person for entry by bus/train. Free use of bus/train in Sentosa throughout the day.
$2 per person, plus $2 per car for entry by car
More details on the Sentosa website

What to prepare for the walk?

Wear covered shoes. Diving booties are ideal. Old sports shoes with laces also OK. Make sure footwear have good grip as we will negotiate slippery rocks.

Open sandals and Japanese slippers are NOT suitable. For their own safety, those without proper footwear will NOT be allowed to go for the walk.

Wear light-breatheable clothing. Long pants are ideal to protect from scrapes.

Bring a hat in case of hot weather.

Bring a poncho in case of wet weather. But if there is heavy rain or lightning (which can happen without rain), the walk will be stopped or aborted.

Bring drinking water and a light snack.

There are few insects on the shores. Insect repellent should be applied BEFORE we are on the shore. Insect repellent is fatal to marine life so the Crabs prefer there is no spraying on the shore.

Bring a change of footwear to go home.

All stuff will have to brought along for the walk, so keep the backpack light.

Why can't I sign up for 100 people from my company?
The Naked Hermit Crabs are small and ... well ... naked. We are very sorry that we can only handle small family groups at this point in time.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Who are the Naked Hermit Crabs?

Who are we? The Naked Hermit Crabs are a motley bunch of volunteer guides who also guide at Singapore's other shores. We have come together to share our other shores through public walks. Especially those shores which are in danger.

Since 2007, we have been conducting free monthly guided walks specially for families and kids at Chek Jawa and Pasir Ris.

Why hermit crabs?
Hermit crabs are still commonly seen on many of Singapore's shores. From tiny hairy ones to those as large as a hand in bright colours, hermit crabs are all over the shore at low tide. The volunteers too come in a wide variety. And we are also most happy scrambling about the sea shore at low tide!

Why are we naked?
Do you know that for every shell you collect from the shore, you can be depriving a hermit crab of a home?

Unlike the crabs we eat which have a hard shell over their entire bodies, hermit crabs have a long soft abdomen. Only the front part of the hermit crab's body is protected by a hard shell. To protect its soft butt, a hermit crab needs to tuck it into an empty snail shell.

Without the shell, the hermit crab will be naked and vulnerable – an easy meal for predators.

Like hermit crabs without shells, our wild shores will be fragile too if there are no nature lovers to protect them.

And thus, to ensure our wild shores have a good supply of protective "shells", we have decided to come together to conduct nature walks to spread the passion for our wild shores.

This non-denominational group of volunteers call themselves the Naked Hermit Crabs to remind everyone how fragile our shores are.

"Give me back my home!" is the plea of the Naked Hermit Crabs.