Inside Fashion Editor Anahita Moussavian’s Epic Sailing Trips Around the British Virgin Islands

Leah Faye Cooper
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Inside Fashion Editor Anahita Moussavian’s Epic Sailing Trips Around the British Virgin Islands
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Browse through Anahita Moussavian’s Instagram feed and you’ll see many snaps of glitzty style ephemera. The deputy fashion editor of the New York Post and its luxury inset, Alexa, Moussavian is a self-professed sparkle enthusiast—a woman who considers sequins a wardrobe staple and tiaras a standard accessory. If you scroll long enough, though, you’ll notice something else: numerous photos snapped from remote tropical islands, all hashtagged #wearnothingdrinkeverything.

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Credit: Instagram | @anahitaglitters

It’s the tagline that Moussavian, her boyfriend Alex, and six of their friends have given their sailing trips throughout the British Virgin Islands—trips inspired by the similar excursions that Alex and his friend Jack grew up taking with their families. Over the years, Jack learned how to sail and has now served as captain for three BVI excursions Moussavian has taken.

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“Our first trip was in March 2013, and we’ve blissfully sailed through two more times since then—once in April 2015, and again this past May,” she says. “I can’t wait for the next trip!”

Ahead, Moussavian shares the planning, logistics, and highlights of an experience she describes as “magical.” Our wanderlust has officially peaked.

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What to Pack
What to Pack

"It’s best to pack light and smart. For eight days, I bring three swimsuits and lightweight, loose cottons in the way of cover-ups and sweaters, which are gentle on salty skin. Shoes aren’t really necessary on the boat—in fact, you’re safer barefoot—but I always bring a pair of Havaianas flip-flops and slip-on Toms.

For afternoons on shore, I pack denim cutoffs and fun sunglasses. I’ve worn my heart-shaped Wildfox pair on every trip. I always bring at least six to eight bottles of sunscreen because, logistically speaking, it’s hard to buy anything when you’re living on a boat. And Sea-Bands are a must, especially if you’re prone to motion sickenss. They’ll save your life."

Photo: instagram / @anahitaglitters

"I ditch any and all beauty products—it’s all about letting go on this trip."

Photo: instagram / @anahitaglitters

"Before we began our first sail, I decided I was going to live in my bathing suit and little else, so I came up with our vacation hashtag, #wearnothingdrinkeverything. This was before Instagram was as popular as it is now, so there were no photos under it. Save for a couple of rogue posts, #wearnothingdrinkeverything still belongs to our crew."

Photo: instagram / @anahitaglitters
How to Get There
How to Get There

"Traveling to and from the islands is fairly easy, but it does take the better part of a day. We fly into St. Thomas and from there take a ferry to Tortola. Should you have to wait for the ferry, you can always pop into the station’s restaurant and order a Painkiller, the BVI’s signature drink. We go through customs on Tortola and then head to Conch Charters, our go-to sailboat rental company."

Photo: instagram / @anahitaglitters
How to Set Sail
How to Set Sail

"I’ve  been lucky to have a friend serve as captain. Jack sailed in college at Brown and also has a US Coast Guard Commercial Captains License. Though it helps, you don’t need a license to sail through the BVI. Experience is most important and companies require you to fill out a sailing resume before renting a boat.

Pre-sail, the crew is given a briefing on boat systems and routes, which is very thorough and enlightening. If you’re looking to hire a captain and crew, that’s definitely an option."

Photo: instagram / @anahitaglitters

"In terms of securing a sailboat, we’ve always booked ours with Conch Charters. They’re trustworthy, affordable, and after we returned for a second trip, they encouraged us to sail to some of the harder-to-reach islands because they had so much faith in our captain’s abilities.

Since we’re a crew of eight, the sailboat we rented was equipped with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a small kitchen, and two communal seating areas."

Photo: instagram / @anahitaglitters

"Captain Jack is primarily responsible for sailing, though members of the crew take turns on a rotational basis based on experience, interest, and the state of the weather and water. I've personally logged in about 30 minutes per vacation.

Jack’s first mate, our friend Nels, is also an experienced sailor, so he spends a good deal of time sailing, as do my friends Jesse and Sam, who were keen on learning and fast to pick it up. I learned very quickly that in addition to running the show, a captain relies heavily on their crew, and some of the tasks required some serious coordination and muscle."

Where to Eat
Where to Eat

"First mate Nels is also the vice president of Woodstock-based bread company Bread Alone, so he’s a master in the kitchen. Before each of our trips, he curates menus for every day. Prior to setting sail, we hit up a grocery store on Tortola and shop for the entire trip’s worth of food, drink, and snacks—you can never have too many snacks!

Once on the boat, Nels and his wife Chloe prepare delicious meals daily: lots of grains and vegetables, cooked with specialty ingredients they bring from home. My favorite dishes are Sam’s lobster tacos, Chloe’s chickpea-quinoa dish, and Alex’s nachos, served at 6 am doused in seriously sharp cheddar cheese."

Photo: instagram / @anahitaglitters

"A rotating cast of bartenders that includes me and my friends Catie, Faedra, and Abby take care of the drinks, making cocktails with fresh fruits and juices that are native to the islands."

"On shore, the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost van Dyke makes a perfect grilled cheese, and the restaurant scene at the Cooper Island Beach Club is heaven. We always spend one afternoon there, splitting a bunch of main courses and fries while toasting a few rounds of their no-nonsense Painkillers. Afterwards, we seek shade in their beach-side hammocks for a cat nap."

Photo: instagram / @soggydollarbar
Where to Explore
Where to Explore

"Sandy Spit for sure. It’s a teeny tiny little island off of Jost Van Dyke, and you can walk around it in under five minutes. Plus, it’s filled with sea fans, which look like fairy wings.

The Baths at Virgin Gorda are amazing! We've snorkeled from our sailboat to shore and spent a few hours exploring these hidden baths that are under the most beautiful caves.

And I don’t have my scuba diving license, but my friends who do explore Wreck of the Rhone. It sounds like an absolute must for anyone who wants to deep-dive with sea turtles."

Photo: instagram / @anahitaglitters
Where to Relax
Where to Relax

"Even though the crew will probably disown me for sharing this, Guana Island is hands-down the most beautiful, serene, and magical island I have ever sailed into, swam around, or set foot on. There are literally no words.

My favorite secluded spot is Cow Wreck Beach on Anegada. It’s very difficult to sail there because so much of the surrounding water is shallow—you’ll see a lot of wrecked boats around the island—but if you can make it happen, get it on your itinerary. It’s literally like being on your own private island. Nothing on it is taller than a palm tree, and the water is a bright, beautiful, vibrant aqua."

Photo: instagram / @anahitaglitters
Where to Party
Where to Party

"At The Willy-T at the Bight on Norman Island, you can jump off the side of the bar straight into the water. And I’ve mentioned it already, but that’s because it’s such an iconic BVI scene: the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke. They serve the biggest, nommiest onion rings I’ve ever had. Plus, you can treat friends who have an upcoming trip to the BVI with a pre-paid round of drinks and the bar always honors it. Alex’s parents surprised us with a round on our 2015 trip. It was the best welcome back to the island."

Photo: instagram / @anahitaglitters
What Makes This the Ultimate Vacation
What Makes This the Ultimate Vacation

"At first, I thought I was just going to sail around on a boat with my best friends, hopping from one beautiful island to another. And while this trip—at its core—is precisely that, the kind of access you have to all forces and friends of nature is unlike any other.

In between watching spectacular sunrises and sunsets from the sailboat, we’ve spent afternoons chasing rainbows—the 2015 trip literally brought us two to three rainbows a day, amazing!—swimming with sea turtles, chasing barracudas, and diving off the side of the boat into crystal-clear water."

Photo: instagram / @anahitaglitters

"We once spotted a sailboat named the 'Anahita,' which was obviously a personal highlight for me."

Photo: instagram / @anahitaglitters

"Because of Jack’s advanced sailing skills, we’ve been able to to access some really remote islands that most people don’t even know exist. The whole trip is a sublime, gorgeous, hippie-dippie island-hopping experience that you never want to leave. It’s very much one of those choose-your-own-adventure moments where each island, and everything in between, is your oyster."

Photo: instagram / @anahitaglitters

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  • What to Pack
  • How to Get There
  • How to Set Sail
  • Where to Eat
  • Where to Explore
  • Where to Relax
  • Where to Party
  • What Makes This the Ultimate Vacation

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