If you anchor just right at Lagoon Caye, as I lucked into on my last trip, you can be suspended in space between mirrors of magnificence. I just carefully anchored, we had our “we’re here” beverages, then I started taking some photos.

Looking down at our boat, you can see that we came to rest perfectly above this beautifully undulating band of color. Pure magic by itself.

That night, I did our usual nightly ritual. I poured myself a rum, climbed up on the roof, and laid back to look up at the stars. Suspended above me, almost enveloping me, clear as day was the Milky Way — billions and billions of (from my perspective) tiny sparkling stars forming a mind-boggling structure beyond anyone’s comprehension.

These are the moments you have when you’re sailing. Moments that place you deeply in the world. In reality. And they happen, perhaps, more often when you’re sailing somewhere untamed and underdeveloped like the waters off Belize.