Location: Bali

After an overnight passage from Gili, Watch Team 2 dropped the anchor in a reef-protected bay on the east side of Bali. We allowed a bit of a lie-in to get everyone caught back up on sleep and then got Argo all to put away from her passage. Following a delicious lunch of tortilla soup, we enjoyed our jump-in showers in the clear blue waters surrounding the boat. Finally, we were ready to head to shore for the main event of the day – a visit to the Uluwatu temple to see the magnificent views and the Kecak and Fire Dance. Located on the southwest corner of Bali, Uluwatu provides dramatic views of cliffs dropping into the Indian Ocean, complete with some amazing waves crashing on the shore. We took in the breathtaking scenery while we walked along the path towards the temple and then continued to an outdoor stadium where we took our seats for the Kecak and Fire Dance. It was a traditional Balinese performance in which about 50 men provide all of the background “music” through vocals, primarily short bursts of sound that sound like “kecak!” Also, several performers in elaborate costumes acted out the traditional Hindu epic of the Ramayana. It was a very cool first experience for everyone on Bali to get a bit of the local culture, and the beautiful sunset into the ocean in the background didn’t hurt either. Although the views and performance were the favorite part of the day for some, I have a feeling most people would say they really liked what came after – dinner. We all went to have dinner together at a traditional Balinese restaurant (we pretty much took over the whole place with our group!) and feasted on nasi goreng (fried rice), chicken satay, local snapper and prawn, spring rolls, calamari, and many a fried ice cream for dessert. It was nice to have a good meal together on land, and the people at the restaurant were so excited to have us. We finally headed back to Argo late in the evening; everyone was pleased with their first day in Bali and excited to explore more over the next few days.