Monday, September 18, 2006

Turtle Cove

Our first time at Turtle Cove, between Stanley and the Tai Tam Reservoir. The entrance to the beach is about 50m from the Red Hills gate, towards Stanley. The cove itself is very scenic, surrounded by steep cliffs, and one of nicest beaches in HK. It is small, and has only few guests.

The bay faces the open sea, and the water is a couple degrees colder and far more turbid than the Sai Kung area. The water leaves an almost milky impression. Underwater growth is sparse; corrals, algae and anemone are entirely absent. Reminds me a bit of a German lake.

I saw a very large flute fish, several puffer fish, a large lobster, but that’s about it. If general, Hong Kong Island does not show the diversity, and fun of the Sai Kung Peninsula.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bella Vista Snorkeling

Today, I tried a new spot, the Bella Vista compound, between Silver Strand and HKUST. Right at the entrance to the housing complex, there are stairs to the right, leading down to the beach (100m). The beach is about 100m wide, sandy, partially overgrown, and turns into cliffs in both directions (towards Silver Strand and towards HKUST). The beach forms a small bay, and there is quite some debris floating close to the shore. The bay itself however is clear, shallow (1-3 meters) and full of large rocks. These make any sort of net-based fishing impossible; I did not find one ghost net.

I went a bit late, around 6 pm, and there were few fish. I however saw several really large crabs and the by far biggest puffer fish I have seen in HK so far. There many small individual hard corrals. I assume I have to come back earlier during the day, to really evaluate the spot. Also, this time I had mostly focused on the side towards SS; next time I have to try the left, towards HKUST.

Besides this, David and I recently found a quill (needle) of a Chinese Porcupine (Hystrix brachyura, East Asian Porcupine) near UST. It would be good fun to go porcupine spotting one night.

Also, I found out that the Lions club runs a shell house, near Sai Kung. This is sort of a museum on sea shells found in Hong Kong. I have not been, but plan to go. It will sure be helpful to identify the seashells I come across. So far, I have not found a good book on HK sea shells.