Dick and Pam Backstrom, owners of Moorings 50.5 Caribbean Soul in Tortola, are truly a part of the Moorings family. Not only do the Backstroms enjoy sailing vacations at bases around the world, they also sail regularly in our Moorings Owners Flotilla and race in the BVI Spring Regatta, all through their participation in the Moorings Yacht Ownership Program. That’s right, Moorings owners can race too!
“Dick and I grew up racing one-design sailboats on Minnesota lakes and then a few years in the Seattle area” says Pam, “but it had been a lot of years since we raced before we started the spring regatta.” This was the Backstroms' fourth BVI Spring Regatta, and their 2nd place finish in the Bareboat 1 division shows that they’re back in the groove with racing. This year’s regatta will go down in history as a windy one, with 20+ knot winds every day. “We had good crew -- could have used a little more “rail meat” but everyone contributed,” Pam adds. The regatta, which concluded on April 7th, was host to more than 80 boats, with nearly 20 of them sailing in bareboat divisions. What a fun way for cruisers to get their feet wet in a regatta!
Read more about the Backstroms’ ownership experience below in this story that Pam submitted.
We are Moorings fans!!
Dick and I have owned two Moorings monohulls since 2008, a 51.5 and now Caribbean Soul, a 50.5, and before that a Sunsail monohull beginning in 2005. We have had a great time as Moorings owners, sailing as much as we can in the BVIs where our boat is based, and in other locations around the world. There are still a few locations that we want to sail, maybe this year or next year. We have sailed in Greece three times, in Croatia, in the Whitsunday Islands of Australia, Antigua, St. Martin, the Abacos, Tahiti twice, Baja California twice, and the US and Spanish Virgin Islands. It is hard to say what is our favorite, but we probably would agree that the BVIs are hard to beat!
We sail three or four times a year, including the Moorings Owners Flotilla and the BVI Spring Regatta. We always bring friends or family, because part of the fun is introducing other people to the cruising locations and activities. We have our friends and family shop for provisions with us, encourage them do some of the work on board, anchoring, picking up mooring balls, reefing the sails, trimming the jib and main, and cooking (because someone is always a better cook than I am). One of the most fun things we do is have a costume night with crazy wigs or hats and other costumes that our friends design.
Our favorite activities are exploring the islands, eating ashore, snorkeling and swimming, paddle boarding, and dinghy trips. We have seen all types of rays, whales in Tahiti and the Caribbean and lots of dolphins in the Caribbean, Croatia, Greece, and Tahiti. We have had a few fishermen on board (with not much luck), but friends like to stop for lunch, snorkel and swim. At least two nights we barbecue on the boat, but everyone enjoys eating at a new restaurant ashore also. We rarely spend more than one night in any anchorage, but enjoy sailing from place to place.
Moorings base in Tortola is great! The people are friendly and helpful, without exception. The restaurants are good, the pool is great, but the people make it wonderful. We would love to spend more time sailing but we do manage to use all of our high and low season time, plus some short notice time in the Moorings program. We’ve even chartered when our time is used up! The maintenance is good, in our experience, and when we have had some problem, Moorings has always fixed it.
When our current boat is phased out, we plan to use it as a down-payment on the next Moorings boat.
-Pam Backstrom, Caribbean Soul M50.5