Thursday, March 05, 2015

Find Out the Location of Those Photos Taken from iPhone / Cameras with GPS Capability via Photo GPS Extract!

One of the technologies that i find most amazing is the Global Positioning System (GPS) and i had my first touch using an early generation iPhone that gave me a global view of where i had been with the pictures i took. 

The problem lies with limited space on my phone which means the picture files would eventually be transferred to my desktop computer. And that's it; the GPS is rendered almost useless even though coordinates are still within the file properties.

This is when you need Photo GPS Extract!

Download the software, install it and you can find the exact location of the picture at a click of a button via your mouse right click button. Send to the software and....

Voila, here's Banana Reef in Maldives! 

Now, i think i would be able to find the Lion Tomb in Chua Chu Kang Chinese Cemetery. I have been trying to find the sad looking cat without any success!  


Download the Software
(only for Windows)

Your device would need to have the GPS feature to lock in the coordinates. Aside from iPhone, some camera models have that capability, one of which is the waterproof Olympus TG-3!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Turtle Reef - No Luck With The Turtles @ Maldives [Part of Excursion Package]

When i decided on Maldives as a vacation, it was the limitless snorkeling that appealed to me and today, i am going to share with you the first snorkeling site i visited in Maldives; Turtle Reef

Seeing the choppy waves, i held on even tighter to the life jacket. Although i have been swimming since i was six, it is more the relaxed frog style; power swimming is totally not my forte!

The fear dissipated after my head, comfortably housed by the easybreath snorkeling mask, was in the water. Alright, i admit i wasn't blown away but this is something i expected after quite a number of snorkeling trips.

'Things' roughly looked similar on snorkeling expeditions; coral reefs of various shapes and sizes and it's really the type of marine creatures that make you look at things from a different perspective.

In this case, i was totally looking forward to sightings of turtle which gave the reef its name. Unless of course, we are taking about the shape of the reef.

I did see a number of marine fish species not commonly seen in other sites although there was not once that a turtle was in my view! On second thought, i should have followed the main guide who was swimming so fast ahead; i lost track of him after a few minutes. 

To be fair, i could not help being stopped by the marvels of the underwater world. Like a kid, i was ecstatic to find non-fish marine creature even if it has a fish in its name. 

Alex, as usual, was trying to lure the fishes with his bottle of bread; painstakingly imported from Singapore, tore into mini pieces and then squeezed into the tiny mouth of the recycled mineral water bottle.

Sadly for him, 'business' wasn't good. 

A puffer fish that was about the length of my arm! 

Still pretty near the speedboat even though most of my tour mates had already ventured far far away. It can be quite unnerving to be the only two persons in the water; what if a shark comes by and decides to have me for lunch!? 

Mostly small and cute fishes though. To be honest, the movie Jaws has a significant impact on my life; because of it, i am mildly afraid of the ocean, always wondering if a great white would suddenly appear and drag me down! 

Did you notice something unusual in this photo?

Two blue surgeon fishes were chasing each other in circles! They were just twirling and twirling around for the entire time i was there. 

Top of the reef with unexciting corals.

Edge of the reef is the place where you can chance upon spectacular coral structures teeming with marine life. The only problem is the big drop into the unknown great ocean where the bottom doesn't seem to exist. 

Those who have been following my snorkeling posts would have noticed the abundant existence of one marine fish species; sergeant major or píntano (Abudefduf saxatilis) fish. It was thankfully not the case in Maldives!

The first clam i chanced upon.

Finally caught up with our tour mates; as you can see, it was extremely deep and being the weak swimmer, i could only look with envy as they glided gracefully in the water. 

With the current against me, i was already facing fatigue despite the life jacket and was wondering if i could even make it to the speedboat alive!

Apparently i wasn't the only one; those without life jackets had it worse and this was only our first site! The speedboat eventually came over to where we were and picked us up! Heng ah! 


Location Map
If it is of interest to you, GPS coordinates are 3.846787 73.416253.

For my six days, five nights 
Maldives itinerary, click here.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Sand Bank Lunch @ Maldives [Part of Excursion Package]

"Sign us up!" - Such was the thrill and excitement when we eventually opted to sign up for a package with Kaani Beach Hotel that included three snorkeling sites and lunch at a sand bank!

As the speedboat neared the destined sand bank, i had to forsake the darn blue plastic bag in front of me (severe seasickness) and looked up so that i can at least marvel at its beauty from afar. 

Wasn't disappointed of course!

Finally had my feet on solid ground after two hours spent in the choppy water and the rocking boat. I mentioned before that having a life jacket is the best way to experience snorkeling; i am not so sure about that statement anymore. 

Honestly, Maldives had sand banks located in numerous pockets all over the sea / ocean under its jurisdiction and in the few excursions we signed up for, we had a 100% chance of bypassing at least one!

Clear, turquoise water doesn't appeal to me after a while as there could only be so much time you can waste on looking at it yet there would not be any coral for you to check out. Good for those who don't swim.

Felt kind of guilty throwing the vomit-filled bag into the unpolluted water! I did ask for a dustbin (as if there would be one); the boatman just stared at me as if i am stupid and said "dump it in the water".

Two opposing waves; the truth about sandbank is that some don't exist permanently and could appear at low tides. At high tides, even a tiny island of this size could get even smaller. 

Beach goers enjoying the sun, the sea and the wind. 

I wasn't keen to sit on the sand but we didn't bring an extra towel! Guess we were one of the few weirdos who ate our lunch standing up and were totally not into relaxing. C'mon, if i want to relax, a bed with full blast air-conditioning would be the way. 

Speaking of lunch - this was unacceptable; two slices of bread with tasteless tuna spread, lukewarm salad, a portion of soggy fries and a bottle of soft drink!

Alex enjoyed it and even cleaned up the half portion i left untouched! Note: this bugger is famed within the gang of four for his weird interpretation of tasty food. 

Apparently, we were not the only one who got bored lazing around.

Drawing on the sand for the sake of taking artsy fartsy shots likely for instagram / facebook. Those who know me well would be aware i can't be bothered with such things. 

Alex attempted and failed miserably with his terrible handwriting! 

Making do with this picture instead. Gosh, did i just mention not too long ago that i can't be bothered with artsy fartsy shots? Oh well, i would do it when i have ample time on my hands! 

Found a unique seashell on the beach! Oh, Olympus TG3 has a microscope mode that allows really clear shot at just one centimeter away! 

The classic jump in the air by Alex. Elderly me would likely break a bone or two if i ever try it. 

Bored enough to be playing with wet sand and laughing hilariously at its similarity to an extremely bad bout of diarrhea. I know, sick right?! 

Lunch was close to fifty minutes! Torturing for a man who could not stay stuck in a small islet that would take me less than a minute to run across. 

Those in my group started to pack up; actually the ones in the photo were from another hotel (with similar patterned towels) but i guess seeing them dusting the sand off would be a good indicator that they were leaving, just as we were.

Last ditched effort to take a good, artistic shot!

Boat was ready for boarding!

A passionate lasting kiss by this adorable couple! They were so loving and you can see the pecking and kissing every few minutes!

Adios, sand bank - you are breathtaking in the beginning but i am almost bored to death by the lack of activities! Once is more than enough to experience you.


For my six days, five nights 
Maldives itinerary, click here

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