Day #113 - From Inky Void to Volcanic Majesty

After so many days just relaxing in our private villa, this morning we embarked on a mini Balinese adventure. It began very early at 5am, when a wooden jukung boat was waiting for us at the end of our garden villa where we just walked down onto the beach and onto to boat. Warning: this is about to get a little over descriptive! 
The pre-dawn darkness painted a velvety cloak that swallowed the the horizon and shrouded Mount Batur's volcanic silhouette in mystery. No artificial glow broke the spell. It felt like it was just James and I and our boatman (skipper? captain? sailor?). There were few formalities as we climbed into the narrow boat - no health and safety briefing, no life jackets. Just three souls heading forth into the inky void.
Our jukung had a (loud) motor and so the tranquility of the morning was shattered when he started up the engine. An engine that had unprotected moving parts rather close to my back, might I add. A shiver danced down my spine, a cocktail of exhilaration and trepidation swirling in my gut. Was this refreshingly wild, or were we teetering on the edge of foolhardy? Yet, as the jukung sliced through the obsidian water, propelled by the clattering engine, a quiet thrill stirred within me. This was raw, unscripted Bali - a plunge into the heart of its untamed beauty.
Then, slowly, like a curtain rising on a masterpiece, the east ignited. A sliver of gold bled onto the horizon, chasing away the inky shadows. The sky transformed into a burning canvas of fire behind clouds that tempered nature's display. As the sun crested the horizon, bathing the world in its golden embrace, the volcanic sentinel of Mount Batur emerged from its veil of darkness. At this latitude, the sun rises quickly; you can almost see it rising up in the sky in a near vertical trajectory.
The tension that had held us captive evaporated under the sun's warm gaze. We relaxed, lulled by the rhythmic lapping of the waves and the captain's soft hums. The vastness of the ocean stretched out before us and a sense of vulnerability crept in. However, this also prompted a moment of reflection and contemplation as I sat there in the middle of nothingness surrounded by such awe. The silence, once pregnant with apprehension, became a symphony of nature's whispers. The gurgle of water against the jukung's hull, the cry of gulls wheeling overhead, the distant rumble of other boats – each sound a brushstroke on the canvas of this perfect morning.
And then, a flash of silver broke out of the depths - a dolphin! Its back arcing gracefully out of the water before heading back under. We scoured the sea, eager for another sighting. Our patience was rewarded with several sightings in succession and it seems our aquatic friend had company. Soon, we were regularly seeing the two of them surfacing in unison - a too little far off to feel connected but close enough to appreciate them. 
As we turned back towards the shore, the sun had climbed sufficiently high to officially start the day. It took a surprisingly long time to return to shore - we didn't realise how far out we had travelled. Eventually, we disembarked, legs a little wobbly, hearts brimming with the magic of the sunrise serenade on jukung waters. 
We walked the short distance up the beach and up our villa's garden path to find breakfast was being delivered - perfect timing.
The rest of the day was spent as the last few have - swimming, scrolling, scoffing (food) and slurping (drinks).