Thursday, July 29, 2010

Atoll Paradise....but the Western Monsoon Came for Another Visit......

Hi there and welcome to my blog.

If this is your first visit nice to have you here. I hope you enjoy some of the images I have been able to capture over the paste week here in the Maldives.

This weeks title is fairly self explanatory but I would like to throw one tidbit at you. The word Atoll comes from the Dhivehi language, which is spoken here in the Maldives, and is used world wide to describe a circular group of coral islands.

As I began my work week, which this month starts on a Saturday, I was heard to remark that I felt that I had a lucky couple of weeks with regards to the weather. Beautiful sunny days with light winds. Speaking to a family, as we rode the Maldivian Air Taxi bus over to the seaplane terminal, I mentioned how lucky their timing was because the weather had been so nice of late.

Well I think the Western Monsoon heard my boasting and sent us reminder that it wasn't quite over yet. Though the week started nice I have to tell you the last two day's were pretty bad at times. Throughout the two days there were periods of continuous wind and rain. Wind gust's recorded by the Male tower peaked at 60 knots (111 km per hour). T'is the time of year! Should be over soon though, perhaps this was the last big blow before the glassy water days!Maybe I should knock on wood!

Anyway I am more about my pictures than my prose. The first 13 ,in my opinion,are great images of what this country offers when the weather is nice. The last 3 give you a little taste of what the day looks like when the sky's open up.


I truly can't get enough of the view from my office. This is a look at the East side of South Ari Atoll looking North.

On our way West bound I was able to get another shot of the East side of the North Ari Atoll. You are looking south in this image. I know I have posted other images of this line but as I said I just can't get enough of these views!

An overhead of Constance Halaveli Resort in the North Ari Atoll. I haven't had the opportunity myself to stay here but I can tell you that all the reports I hear about it are glowing! A class act through and through! I hope that I get a chance to stay there before I leave. If I do you can be sure I will get some photo's!

Hows this for a sandbar? You are looking south and in the distance is the Diva Maldives resort located in the South Ari Atoll. Another beautiful resort that I have had the opportunity to stroll around.

I loved the way this image framed up with Palm trees and other vegetation.

Some more Diva Maldives. These are the water villa's located on the North side of the resort. Love that water!

Still with the Diva. Tell me doesn't that look inviting?

Waves breaking on the sandbar.

I have been playing with black and white images of late. I love the contrast it provides. So hard for me though because there is so much colour around me here!


Back in Male. Dave and Ben were coming in for landing just as I was taxiing in. I was able to get my camera out and take a few of their landing. Slight cross wind from the west, so the left float touches first.

Same landing. Just coming off the "step" to then turn and follow us back to the dock.

Sunset at the Zitahli Resort and Spa: Kuda-funafaru. Another amazing location in the Maldives. This resort in North of Male located in the Noonu Atoll.
This was taken the day before the Monsoon struck back!

With the weather looming! I took this moments before the rain moved in. The same rain we fought with all the way back on our trip in from the North. As with life timing is everything when it comes to float flying.

Lilly beach lagoon! We couldn't even get to the plane! At this resort, which I should add is another wonderful place and this picture certainly does not do it justice, we use a Dhoni to transfer to the the aircraft on a floating platform.
I would like you to reference the shot of the South Ari Atoll looking North to give you a better idea of the the Lilly Beach location and what it looks like on better day!

When we finally got to the aircraft we wave good-bye to the Dhoni and prepare to fly home.

That's it for now. I hoped you enjoyed this little snip-it of my work here in the Maldives. As always feel free to comment or contact me! .


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Madoogali, the North Male Atoll and the Capital City Male

Hello once again and welcome back to my Barefoot Blog.

Contained in the following pages you will find pictures I have taken of the some of the people I encounter day to day along with some of the places I visit while flying around the Maldives.

The photographs are taken with my Canon Rebel XS . At home we have the EOS 5d and I can tell you I do notice the difference between the cameras! I pause to take a big sigh and hope that the photography business venture back in Canada takes off so I can justify buying a newer full frame SLR to have for the next time I come to the Maldives! If you are curious about our business back in Canada please check out my wife Sophie's wonderful work at .

Now on to my photo's.

First stop Madoogali. A resort located in the North Ari Atoll, pretty 60 miles straight west of Male.

We spent a few hours here the other day. Just enough time to have a nice lunch and of course to take some pictures!

First we have the a shot of the airplane in the background tied to the floating platform in the lagoon just across from the resort island. Most resorts use a Dhoni to transfer people back and forth to the airplanes.
Here we have have the skipper, little bit of rain in the background and you may notice the rudder between his legs. Most Dhoni's are set up so that the captain steers it with his legs and feet, bare of course!

Shorts and shirt blowing in the wind as Ahmed, one of the crewman has a look off the bow.
The view of the resort through the front doorway of the Dhoni . Off to the side Hassan, another one of the crewman looks around the big swell that runs between the island and the lagoon.

Hassan giving me a pose along the way to Maddogali Island.

One of my crewman gives me a pose. Here we MI( Mohamed Ibrahim) enjoying the ride over to Madoogali.

I thought this was a pretty cool looking planter that I came across while walking the path's of Madoogali.

Those path's I was speaking of. So lush and green. I find it so amazing that these tiny islands of mostly sand and coral can support such jungle like agriculture.

As we are still in the midst of the Western Monsoon I thought it would be interesting to see these images in black and white.

This is a side perspective of the same area of the island. Again I thought it would be impressive to see the image in black and white.

Crow's! So cheeky no matter where you go. Just like everywhere they inhabit they are opportunists who are quite intelligent. This guy was taking the material used to make a fence for use in his/her nest.

This water is so inviting!

The beaches of the Maldives are legendary indeed.

Lunch time is almost over. The Dhoni is on his way out for one more trip before coming back to take us out to our waiting bird.

I always love the contrast that everyday objects can have. Things perhaps I may not even give a second look if I didn't have a camera in my hand.

A view from the office! The North Male Atoll as seen out the left window as we traveled south west.

My buddy Hamdoon flashes a grin and gives the thumbs up.
Formerly a cabin attendant he saved up the money he made to become a pilot.

He has around 2000 hours now. Won't be to much longer and he will find himself into the captains seat.
On this shot you see Male just over his right shoulder.

As I close this post another look at the bustling Capital City of the Maldives.

Thanks for stopping by.........

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Welcome back to my blog. Perhaps you have tuned in because of my shameless facebook plug!What ever works right!

Those of you who I work with are already quite aware of my photo fetish as I tend to bring the camera with me everywhere I go! For those of you who don't know me that well...I bring my camera everywhere I go! : )
Whatever reason you find yourself viewing these pages welcome and enjoy my take on the past week of flying barefoot in the Maldives.
At the start of my week, which in this month begins on Saturday, the Western Monsoon was a raging! Lots of wind and rain. Through all of it we got the job done. This not to say that everything went smoothly but for the most part I think things went pretty well. Though I am sure that the guests who paid money for vacation in the sun would have preferred a lot less liquid sunshine!
By the end of the end of my week the weather was fantastic and I had an incredible day at the beach with my lady in red,white and green!
Check it out.......
(don't forget to click the picture to expand it for a better look)

The Maldives are pretty much under the cloud but if you look hard to the West( left) of Sri Lanka you will see the little dots that are the Maldives.
Its all about team work here at Maldivian Air Taxi and these smiling team members were all to happy to strike a pose for me. Thanks to Ahmed, Terry and Kutchie!

Now this guy always has a smile! One of the newest Captains here in the Maldives but he brings a lot of experience with form the US Virgin Islands. Next time I will post one of Pawel looking at the camera!

My buddy Nasif trying to take a picture of me. Turn about fair play!Jeff Luron taking a look around before the next shower hits the float base.Now to take a moment away from the float base. The angry Indian Ocean by Twin Islands, our alternate landing area when it is to rough for the landing and take off at the resort named Centara.The calm spot still a little rough. I took this shot just prior to the next "squall line" coming through.

On the way back to the base this is what Male looked like through the windscreen of the aircraft.
A nice look at the runway that is right beside our float base.
Some of our newest pilots learning the ropes as well as dealing with the rain.
Everyone does their best to keep the passengers dry on their way to and from the airplanes.Most definitely a special VFR day in Male. Two of my colleagues taxi's down the North East taxiway while another one lands behind him on the North Right. Angie and Larissa are away right now so it is pretty safe to say him!
As they continue to taxi in a Trans Maldivian Airplane lands on the North Bound Right water way.
On all days people at Air Taxi work as a team. Doing our best to keep the guests happy under difficult circumstances!Kudy on his way to the main dock after refilling the Twin Otter for its next trip out.And through it all many of us are able to keep the smile. Though Dave maybe smiling extra hard because his new Ipad is not only his favorite thing ever the bag he bought for is actually keeping it dry!
I did mention it was raining didn't I. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the cabin attendants on days like these. I have to say I appreciate a hard working CA everyday but perhaps more so on days like these.
And after he ties the plane to the dock,unloads it,reloads it and fuels it Kutchie is still smiling. Love the umbrella dude!
Not everyone is smiling though! I hope they don't read this post because they may be a little disappointed to see how nice the weather gets a few days later.
Raining so hard the camera was a little hard to focus!
Very lonely sun chairs!
So much fun! I did mention it was Monsoon season didn't I?
But as the week went on the rain eased off. Still a little windy but much dryer!
This is more like it!

Then the early morning Monday was worth getting up for!

Muslim strikes a pose for me! Looking cool man!

Mike Alpha Bravo our plane painted in the Conrad colours, you know what that means. An overnight at the Conrad!Sweet! I will be posting some pictures of that place in days to come.

If you have to get up at 3:45 to go to work it is nice to see this when you arrive at the base!

Picnic day! On our way to Heenfaru, which is a picnic island used by the Club Med resort, I was lucky enough to get this shot!

While there I got some nice shots of the island and the plane before I put on the snorkel gear that JoJo was kind enough to bring for me.

I know that guy on the National Geographic Channel has a show called the best job in the world but I have to say that on days like these I would give him a run for his money!

Its all about perspective isn't it!

Not much more I can say about this photo!

My last job was in the Democratic Republic of Congo flying the CRJ but I have to say I really missed this job.........and I really don't miss flying in shoes!

Missed this stuff so very, very much. I wish the family was with me...the only thing missing. You think I may be able to convince my wife again?!?
Yeah yeah ,I am very white and getting a little older but eat your heart out!lol! Who was that guy again with the best job in the world! ; )
Well I this post with a look at the city of Male.
and a shot of my tiny little apartment close the Male surf beach.

So glad you took the time to have a look. Comments are welcome, name updates questions that sort of thing. Keep it clean though because my kids read this!

Till the next time......