After almost 3 months of rainy weather, sunny weather is now back in Pulau Ubin. Rain would come suddenly or the sky turning dark when we need good lighting to shoot.
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We wanted to document what is left in Ubin before development were accelerated.
Public Ubin is now part of the powered grid. Developers are eyeing Ubin in earnest, taking up lease on buildings designated for green activities and offering to sublet for other businesses like F&B. I asked SLA about this, this is not allowed unless SLA approval is given. One can only hope good sense prevails, with our government mindful of preserving areas for youth activities and green tourism for as long as possible, besides creative pursuits like movie-making.
We met our friends making a new youtube movie while camping during Christmas eve.
You can view it on Youtube
Update: Mar 2013. You can get tide tables free on your Iphone(link) and Android (link) devices. Choose Sembawang tide station which is nearest to Pulau Ubin.
Among the best times to visit Pulau Ubin is when it coincide with high and low tides. For anglers, estuarine fishes come alive with abundance of food churned by incoming and receding tides. Chek Jawa is best visited during times when tides are low when its shoals and rock pools exposed its myriad living creatures. In Singapore, tides are considered high when its above 3 metres and very low when its 0.3 metres and below.
Tide Tables Publications
NEA provides handy information which is permanently linked on the right of this page. MPA also provide tide prediction of the day. For the whole year, you’ll have to purchase their hard copy of Singapore Tide Tables Year 2012.
But you can also find tide tables prediction free for the
whole year or by selected date here.
For campers, its useful also to know about moon rises and moon phases (linked right). We look forward to moonless nights where we get to see stars and exploring the island with flashlights.
Picture by Andy Ho.
Dragon tail vine under full moon.
It’s distressing to see our favorite trees being felled in Pulau Ubin. They are not just old, diseased ones that suffer their inevitable fate. Even healthy looking ones were not spared.
Coconut trees stumps
I hope Nparks have a robust review system in place and not leaving to hurried decisions or leaving it to contractors who are paid by the number of trees they fell. We were dismayed to find many trees were illegally cut that Nparks had to put warning signs. We are not sure why nobody noticed it earlier.
Illegal land clearing
Still, the job of felling trees is necessary. The iconic Malay kampong house was destroyed when a nearby durian tree toppled over it.
Famous Ubin kampong house was destroyed
But overdoing and cutting down symbol of tropics which coconut palms are famous for should be avoided as much as possible.
Coconut grove at Pulau Ubin
The rubber plantations in Pulau Ubin were reminders of our past when immigrants arrived in numbers, growing and tapping a new found economic crop. Sadly many also were being tagged to be cleared eventually. But rubber trees are efficient in clearing pollutants from the air, acting as natural lungs for our environment. (As a tip, pick the rubber seeds that are plentiful in Ubin and grow them as indoor plants instead of spending money on air purifiers).
Rubber tree tagged
The Public Utilities Board sounded the following warnings.
High tides of at least 3.4 metres are expected from 12-15 January 2013. Afternoon showers with thunder are expected for the next few days. During this period, heavy rain coinciding with high tides may lead to localised flash floods, especially in the low-lying coastal areas such as Fort Road and Meyer Road. Canals that are influenced by tides, such as Bedok Canal and Siglap Canal will see high water levels even when there is no rain.
Aided by moonsoon winds, tides at Pulau Ubin is expected to go as high as 3.44 to 3.57m. This is not as high compared to last year of 3.65m. Nevertheless, some minor floodings is expected.
If you are planning a bike trip and find your path blocked by rising waters, the safer choice is to carry your bikes across. Cycling through might be fun but seawater are very corrosive. Many van drivers find out the hard way and stop ferrying passengers for the tides to recede.
On the reverse, Chek Jawa boardwalk are best visited when tides fall as low as 0.13m in the late afternoons. Bring some raincoats as wet weather is expected.