1. First, find your way to the nearest dock, canoe, or rock formation jutting from the shore of the island. If you choose to bring others with you, make sure they are people who know how to shut the hell up. It also helps if their flesh is pillowy soft and good for lying on.

2. Lie down. Sit, if you must, but be aware that you are not getting the whole picture.

3. Before taking your first good look, close your eyes. Smell the air. Breathe for a minute, taking in the the night and the its strange yet soothing noises. In order to fully acquaint yourself with what is above you must first appreciate what is below.

4. Open your eyes. Because you have chosen an island far from civilization (give yourself a pat on the back), you are now dazzled by the powdery speckles of millions of stars shining above you. It will be like nothing you have ever seen.

5. Smile.

6. If you have brought people with you, now would be the proper time to acknowledge them, not before. The wait will make you appreciate the silence around you and therefore your conversation will not be forced. If it is cold, huddle together with a warm blanket. Tell them secrets. Confess things. Let the words tumble from your mouth like the spray of stars from the milky way.

7. Find your favorite constellation. It doesn't need to be an actual constellation, but you should be able to recognize it if you ever go back. Name it.

8. Leave when you are good and ready, and only when you are ready. If necessary, allow the others to drift away gradually, leaving you alone with your thoughts.

9. Before you go, make a wish.

A slightly different way to look at the stars from a secluded island.

1) Go to the water, away from any lights.

2) Remove all jewelry (not good to sparkle in ocean - attracts and confuses predators). If you are comfortable with the location and company, remove all clothing too.

3) Shuffle into ocean (not good to walk - the stingrays get annoyed when stepped on).

4) When the water is deep enough, lay back and float.

5) Enjoy the stars while floating on the gently rocking sea.

6) Every once in a while glance towards the land to make sure you are not drifting too far away.

7) To return, swim until you can stand up. Shuffle back to the beach.

7) Don't frollic until back on land (not good to imitate a fish in trouble).

It sounds like a lot of precautions, but stargazing from the ocean can be soooo wonderful.

By the way, the Perseid Meteor Showers peak on August 12th. And my favorite unlit island is Andros in the Bahamas.

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