Monday, April 28, 2008

Drawings from visitors to Chek Jawa

Visitors to our walks have always been a wonderful source of inspiration and knowledge to us. To our visitors who joined us yesterday, it wouldn't do justice if we did not post some of your beautiful drawings and heartfelt words. I'll be honest with you... I was so tired last night and could not finish scanning the drawings. But here they are now... Enjoy!

Thank you! Chek Jawa is quite a magical place, isn't it? Glad you enjoyed the day out with Nature and celebrating Earth Day with us.

What an observant nature lover! You saw a SNAKE? Where? Lucky you! The guides say they did not see it.

Yeah ... we agree too. Chek Jawa is a wonderful refuge from the hectic Singapore city life. For many of us, we 'escape' to CJ a few times in a month.

What a cute Mudskipper! We had to show this one! Perhaps mudskippers need cool shades to protect their eyes from harmful UV rays!! :-)

To Claire and Boris from Paris.... have a great trip ahead. Come back and visit Chek Jawa if you're passing through our fair isle in years to come!

Our friends from Thailand are very knowledgeable about plant life. Thank you for sharing with us the story of how you extract the purple dye from the fruit of the Melastoma plant (Singapore Rhododendron or Melastoma malabathricum) and using it as a lipstick when you were kids.

Glad you had a wonderful day at Ubin yesterday! Come back and visit Ubin more often. The bicycle trails are wonderful, and bird-watching is great fun on Ubin.

Wow...! Words from the heart... Thank you, Ray! Although Nature does not have a voice, it does speak to our hearts. On our part, we have to speak up for Nature and help protect bio-diversity.

Chek Jawa Boardwalk - April walk (27-4-08)

It's April but July's everywhere! (Sorry, July, for lame joke!)

Today is our Last Sunday of the Month walk, and the Crabs are out on Chek Jawa Boardwalk in the afternoon. A few of our visitors actually planned their trip with our scheduled walk, and it is nice to know that. In total we had about 30 visitors.

We're pleased too to see many overseas friends today – from Thailand (Land of Smiles!), Malaysia, Paris and Hong Kong. Welcome to Singapore and to Chek Jawa! It's amazing that they made their way to Chek Jawa given that most of them are actually holidaying in Singapore and are not residents.

The Crabs hope they have gone away with a different image of Singapore, that it is NOT all concrete and steel, but that it has a softer edge where life can be enjoyed at one's pleasure and where little animals like mudskippers, monitor lizards, tree-climbing crabs have a place in this land.

Here's Gaytri with visitors from Paris and Thailand.

And our Singaporean visitors enthusiastically drawing and penning their thoughts and impressions of Chek Jawa.

We have unfortuntely no photos to show our sightings of the Oriental Pied Hornbill along the boardwalk (spotted by Ivan's group). Ivan says it was first on the boardwalk, then flew to a nearby tree where everyone could see it well.

Those who stayed back to draw pictures on our guest book also witnessed a splendid aerial display by a pair of White-bellied Fish Eagles. One flew just above our heads and we could see its majestic wingspan and its characteristic white belly. [p/s - to our visitors today, if you have a photo of the hornbill or eagle, do email us at nakedhermitcrabsATgmailDOTcom]

It was indeed a beautiful outing in spite of the heat! Thanks to the crabs who came down today and made this walk possible - Ivan, July, Gaytri and LK.

And here's a photo of Rhinoceros Rock at the main jetty, spotted on our way home.

See you next time. Au revoir!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Chek Jawa Boardwalk with Outward Bound Singapore: Part 4

July and I spend a wonderful hot Sunday morning with another equally hot OBS team!It was great to have July with us to share about the mangroves.And the nipah palms and mudlobster.And seagrasses and lots lots more.At the end of the trip, they shared some wonderful entries to the Naked Hermit Crab guestbook!
And this stunning instantly drawn way cool cartoon advert!Here's a closer look at the drawing.The OBS team is super talented!

Thanks everyone for coming, and July for making it extra special.

We look forward to working with OBS to develop more programmes for our wonderful shores.

After the boardwalk trip, we had a special look at the hornbill nesting project and Ubin Green House. More on the wildfilms blog.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Video of Naked Hermit Crabs on Rouge TV

For those of you who missed the screening of the NHC interview on Rouge yesterday (Sun, 20 Apr 2008), here's a recording of the interview. Apologies for the low quality video!

Hello and welcome!

Hello to all who saw us tonight on TV at Eunice Olsen's Rouge!

Thanks for your interest in us and we hope that you've gotten to know a bit more about Singapore's very own shores, reef and marine life in that short interview.

If you would like to join us for our next guided walk on 27 April 2008 (Sunday) at Chek Jawa Boardwalk, Pulau Ubin, find out how to join us. Rest assured, your feet will stay dry throughout the walk.

If you would like to visit Pulau Semakau, find out more from the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research Semakau Landfill cum Intertidal Walk page.

You can also find out more about other wild places of Singapore on

We will also be having guided walks (where you will be getting your feet wet) at Sentosa in the middle of the year. Find out how to sign up here. Don't think Sentosa has anything wild? Check out these exciting stories and photos from Sentosa.

Hopefully you'll soon be exploring more of our shores, mangroves, forests and wild places in Singapore!


Ivan, November & all the Naked Hermit Crabs

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Naked on Rouge TV!!

Crabs were featured tonight on Rouge, Channel 5 at 10pm with Eunice Olsen. It seems like just yesterday that the crabs were at Caldecott Hill for the recording.

Eunice asked all the hard questions; why are we called the Naked Hermit Crabs? How did we start? Why do we do what we do? Where in Singapore is all this marine life we speak of?! What can regular people do to make a difference?

The Rouge crew also braved squishy beautiful Pulau Semakau as they followed November and crabs out to the landfill to check out the amazing diversity there. Among the finds were the common sand star and the black and white polka dotted nudibranch (Jorunna). See the crew on Semakau!:

Youths excited at the critters they found.

November in her field garb with the film crew on Semakau.

The crew ever-enthusiastic even as the tide came in!

As Ivan and November pointed out on our gorgeous seashore life map our Southern islands and pretty northern shores, Eunice was amazed that such diversity could even be found in urban Singapore!

Eunice was suitably tickled as they conferred upon her, our honorary crab, the NHC badge ("give me back my home! Naked Hermit Crabs") -- which she proceeded to don for the rest of the show! AWESOME.

As they cheekily presented her with the Chek Jawa book by Dr. Chua, the page was opened at the iridescent reef biting worm, or more amusingly, the Eunice aphroditois worm (which nobody should put in their mouths by the way), beautiful in its glistening glory and powerful venomous bite. :D

Here's the gang on the set of Rouge (Eunice wearing the NHC badge!)

Thanks, Rouge, for this exciting opportunity! Don't forget to check out the upcoming NHC walks :D

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Join us on 27th April - Chek Jawa

Hi friends of Naked Hermit Crabs!

I was rather intrigued by an article in the Straits Times today (19 April 2008) titled “Living Unplugged” about the need to reclaim our lives from the very addictive, ubiquitous and invasive world of instant connection. Although the Crabs are a rather plugged-in bunch of people, we too see the need to voluntarily unplug ourselves from our laptops, cell phones and gadgets of all sorts to spend time in the real world. Would you join us in one of our trips to the real and beautiful world of Chek Jawa on 27th April Sunday?

It is Earth Day on 22nd April and the Naked Hermit Crabs are organizing our free walk-in Chek Jawa Boardwalk tour (for small groups please) on Sunday, 27th, in celebration of Earth Day. We urge you to forget about going shopping again in Orchard Road but come and spend a lovely afternoon at Pulau Ubin. Ditch materialism! Don’t let consumerism take over our lives! Spend some time with nature and see how Mother Earth can move your hearts.

Date: 27 April 2008 (Sunday)
Time: 3 pm
Meeting Place: Chek Jawa Information Kiosk

Read all about our free walks and what you need to prepare …..

Let us share some of the precious thoughts penned by our lovely visitors.

These are simple and heartfelt words from someone who has seen the magic of Chek Jawa.

Good Day Out

And here’s what 2 expatriate families have to say about a great outing to Chek Jawa ….

And Sofya, a young visitor, recorded what she saw:

“We went in the car cab and went in the forest with lots of trees. We saw a lot of jellyfish. We saw a big claw ripped off a crab. We saw a big beetle. We thought it was a bee. We saw the moth (really hairy). We saw a big school of fish. We saw the crab with big claws”

And friends from SCGS enjoyed their day exploring Chek Jawa and Ubin.

Su Hsien said that Chek Jawa is our own nature backyard. No need to travel long distances (and leaving a large eco-footprint in the process) to see natural ecosystems.

Saving Chek Jawa For Future Generations

And there are lots of pleas from visitors who asked for Chek Jawa to be preserved for our future generations….

“Definitely something to conserve …. We saw Chek Jawa, but what about our children … think of the future.” – Siti Rafeah

Outdoor Classroom

Needless to say, Chek Jawa is a wonderful place to explore with the younger ones. That is why bumboat-loads of families make their way to Chek Jawa during weekends and school holidays.

Here is a drawing done by a keen nature observer who captured what she saw. See that little bit on the right hand side. It says “Kids enjoying Nature”

And sisters April and Inez did an amazing drawing about Life in Chek Jawa.

Others see Chek Jawa as a precious oasis of calm in highly urbanized Singapore.

More words from our friends ….

“Chek Jawa is a beautiful place! It is indeed a living outdoor classroom.” – Yvonne (2007)

“Thanks for the wonderful and interesting guides and descriptions. Keep up the good work!” – Xinyi (2007)

“Nature teaches us on what humans are …… We are just a small part of it !!! Fellowship of the Open Air” – David W, Project Sirius (2007)

“Chek Jawa Fiddler Crab: I see humans …. Va Voom!” – Wilson Ong (2007)

“I learnt a lot more about local species, e.g. mangroves, crabs, mudskippers, etc. It has been a fruitful and enriching experience. I’m sure students will love this place too.” – Wanxuan (2007)

There you have it! Words from our friends. Come and join us if you have time on Sunday 27th April.

With this drawing of a smiling Naked Hermit Crab cartoon, we wish you Good Day, and see you on the 27th!