10 May 2015

Photowalk at Marina Barrage

View from Marina Barrage
On a cool overcast evening, I made by way up to Marina barrage along with some talented photographers in tow. I had never been here and i could pinch myself as the view from the top was nothing less than extra-ordinary! The Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the bay, the Singapore flyer and the entire skyline looked resplendent in one single frame. Surely, this was a photographer's dream come true let alone an amateur one like me.

In the company of the talented Sandra Macheroux , I spent the next couple of hours shooting to my heart's content. As she explained technical terms like aperture, focal point and shutter speed , I realized that photography was indeed a serious business. It wasn't just about pointing your fancy camera and taking random pictures, but was about aligning your camera perfectly, using the correct exposure settings and giving your pre-visualized images a chance to come to life!

As I don't own a DSLR, these were taken with my trusty Nikon P100. Even though it has limited features, it does incredibly well :) Here are some of the pictures I took.
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 I have never been confident with night photography but this outing made me realize that nighttime showcases a different world altogether! Filled with glittering city lights and cascading colors. its indeed a beautiful time to shoot.

Till next time :)

3 May 2015

craftsmen specialty coffee - eastwood Centre

Craftsmen Specialty Coffee Eastwood
While, I absolutely love the cafe culture in Singapore, the lack of cafes in the east coast was always a bummer. Well, not anymore! Thanks to places such as Penny University and Craftsmen specialty coffee, we easties can now enjoy a good cuppa of coffee and crispy hot waffle right in our backyard! Double yay!

Situated at the Eastwood center next to cold storage, this little coffee shop was the place we headed to on a Sunday after some grocery shopping . Surprisingly , it wasn't crowded for a weekend (considering most cafes are usually burgeoning with crowds). I'm not complaining though, for I love a quiet spot to enjoy my coffee and have a good conversation sans the noise. Not many people know about it yet which adds to its 'quiet' appeal. I am certain that once more people find this hidden gem, getting a place to sit would be so much more harder. But till then, I'll enjoy my cuppa in peace :)
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Upon entering the cafe, one is greeted by a cozy space that has a bar style seating at the window with a few tables inside. The shelves near the counter are filled with coffees, marmalade's and few things that I really didn't get a chance to see up close. In my defense i was busy salivating looking at the waffle selection on the menu! So, While hubby proceeded to order my chocolate banana waffle , I went ahead and started taking some pictures of the naturally illuminated area.
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While I am a self confessed chocoholic, Hubby on the other likes subtle basic flavors. So, a butter croissant was his pick along with a coffee. The crispy croissant smelled heavenly and tasted even more delicious than it looked!
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My delicious waffle
My chocolate laden banana waffle was the next to arrive which triggered an instant drooling reaction .Nevertheless, I used the last amount of willpower that i had to quickly take a picture before devouring it down!
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Hot cuppa!
Hubby's coffee had beautiful art all over it. As he was about to take a sip, i quickly brandished my camera .  Once i was done with my pictures, he quickly drank it possibly fearing his picture crazy blogger wife would take more photographs of it! Lol !

Overall. we enjoyed our visit to this little cafe. Its a welcome entrant into the sparse east coast cafe scenario. Hopefully, more cafes will sprout up in the future and when they do, il be excited to try them!

Till then, keep calm and enjoy your coffee :)

Craftsmen Speciality Coffee
20 Eastwood Centre, #01-06,
Eastwood Road,

25 April 2015

Day trip to Pulau Satamu and Raffles Lighthouse Tour

The Paradise island of Pulau Satamu 
With the kind courtesy of the Maritime port authority of Singapore and the Singapore shipping association, I had the opportunity to visit the pristine island of Pulau Satamu . Located just under an hour from the marina south pier, this tiny island is home to swaying coconut trees, crystal clear opaque waters ,vibrant corals and the iconic Raffles lighthouse. Restricted to public, Pulau Satamu only opens for MPA guided tours during the Singapore maritime week.
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Marina South Pier
On the day of the tour, we assembled at the Marina south pier bright and early to take the ferry over to the island. Unlike Tanah Merah  and Harbor front terminals, the marina south pier services the smaller southern islands of  Kusu and St John's. As we waited for our turn to board, many small boats dotted the horizon, overshadowed by the large shipping vessels.

Once on board the ferry, we received a quick briefing from our  captain who had a great sense of humour.

"In case of any emergency", he said, "the life jackets can be found under your seat. Wear it and just jump lah! If you cant find one, grab whichever one you can and jump lah! " As soon as he said that, the entire crowd erupted in a fit of laughter :)
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On the deck hoping to see dolphins
The infinite stretch of vivid blue ocean greeted us as we set sail .Since, I tend to easily get sea sick , I stood on the deck throughout the  journey and enjoyed it immensely! The cool ocean breeze along with the excitement of visiting a secluded island and possibly sighting dolphins made me stick to the deck like glue.
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Islands on the way
As we steered past Singapore's posh Sentosa cove, the seascape transformed and became more clear and vibrant. Tiny islands such as these occasionally popped up leading to a frenzy of photo enthusiasts clambering over to the deck to get the perfect shot (me included)! I had often seen small islands from the aircraft but seeing them up close was an incredible experience.
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Island Ahoy!
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Raffles Lighthouse at Pulau Satamu
Land Ahoy!

After sailing for about an hour, we soon approached our destination as the little island of Pulau Satamu (translates as 'one tree island' in malay)could be seen in the distance. The iconic Raffles Lighthouse stood out in all its opulence against the vivid blue sky. Built in 1855 and named after the founder of modern Singapore, the Raffles lighthouse is a shining beacon of Singapore's maritime history. Today, it stands at a height of 95 feet and consists of a main and standby beacon with a range of 20 nautical miles.
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The Raffles Lighthouse 
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Clear blue water and vibrant corals
As we disembarked at the jetty, we were asked to explore the island freely . Walking around,  I for one was awe struck at the sight of clear blue water abundant with beautiful hard corals! Due to the low tide, they were clearly visible in the shallow waters and were a sight to behold!

These coral reefs are protected and are part of a surveying program conducted by the national parks board in conjunction with various organisations. International techniques developed by Reef check have been adopted for this program. 
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Imagine waking up to this every single day
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The sea and me
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A tinge of color
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The infinite sea
 After exploring around for a bit, we headed up to see the lighthouse. The staircase was quite narrow and only a few people were allowed at a time. While walking up, I saw these large windows that overlooked the ocean. As i climbed higher, the view became more vibrant and beautiful. Once on top of the lighthouse, miles and miles of blue ocean greeted me  . I stood there quietly  and felt  thankful for this incredibly rare opportunity .
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The windows to paradise
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View from the lighthouse 
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This is heaven
 Lost in thoughts, I heard a voice repeatedly called my name from below. That's when i realised that the ferry was about to leave and I was the last person left. I sprinted down and quickly reached the base (i would later realise that i am not as agile as i thought and would cringe from painful leg cramps for the next few days) .

The ferry was ready to depart, signalling an end to an adventurous day blissfully spent on the lost island . Palau Satamu had been a gracious host. Soon, it would close its doors for visitors and disappear into oblivion to  resurface again next year. As another batch of adventure hungry visitors would throng its shores, it would remind everyone of how beautiful this place really is .

But, until then, we would reminisce our time spent on its palm fringed beaches and sandy shores.

Until next time :)

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Good Bye Pulau Satamu

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