Meet The SaltWest Crew

Hi, I’m Josh – Welcome to SaltWest, our adventure sailing and travel blog!

All my life I’ve been fortunate enough to be on or around water. Spending every summer as a kid on our sailboat on the Great Lakes, I grew up learning to sail and loving the water (you can click thru some old family photos on the right)! After spending some time in Australia and Mexico after graduating high school, I got really into surfing and it turned into a lifelong passion.

After graduating from college, I moved across the country to spend a decade in high-pressure business environments, followed by a migration into non-profit. They were stressful times for me, but these experiences helped refocus my priorities to pursue a more meaningful and enjoyable lifestyle.

By this time I had met Morgan and we decided to move to Vancouver Island where I fulfilled two bucket-list dreams: I wrote and recorded my first prog-rock EP called Idle Divine, and I ran my own surfboard company, making artisan-quality, high performance boards for serious waves. A few years later, when we made the decision to sell our house and buy a sailboat, I put the business on ice and we dedicated ourselves to embracing a whole new way of life… again!

Now, together with our dog Kyuss, Morgan and I look forward to sailing the oceans of the world and exploring every inch of this beautiful globe we call home.

Josh’s childhood sailboat

Baby-Josh with his mom on their family sailboat (…not sure that’s how you hold a baby??)

Josh and his younger brother getting into their inflatable dinghy

Josh showing off his first catch while learning to fish

Josh helping to scrape a sailboat hull

On a whale watching tour in Ucluelet, BC

Going on a canoeing & camping trip in Deep Cove, BC

On a snowshoeing mountain hike, Morgan gets ready to practice a fall-arrest with her ice axe (or commit a murder, not sure…)

Hitting up the North Shore mountains for a summer day-hike

Hey there! I'm Morgan, a sailor-in-training and full-time social entrepreneur.

Growing up in coastal British Columbia, Canada, I spent my youth hiking and camping all over my beautiful province, cultivating an insatiable love of the outdoors (you can slide through some shots of me on the left). This led me to seek outside jobs, and for most of my 20s I worked seasonally to care for government-owned parks in the summer, and doing office work in the winter. Because I worked so much, however, I wasn’t much of a traveller. At 31, I’ve only been to three countries (other than my own). And, until we bought our sailboat in 2017, I had never even been ON a boat, let alone sailed before!

I’ve spent the bulk of my career (10+ years) working in the government sector, and I always found public service very rewarding. Helping people is something I very much enjoy, and it was a great way to serve my community.

Before I moved into these jobs, though, I really thought I would end up in the tech-sector. Ever since I was a kid I have been addicted to coding and technology. But I’ve only ever pursued it as a hobby, running the gamut from building databases to building websites. I LOVE being a techie! The only trouble with this passion, though, is it keeps me indoors too much. 😛

I’m not sure what made me take the leap to leave all I knew for life as a liveaboard. Maybe it was exposure to too many motivational posters about life and ‘carpe diem’, ha ha! What I know now, though, is that I am in LOVE with living on a sailboat and, for the first time, I feel energized to really see more of the world, meet different people, and explore!

As you may discover from reading our LogBook or watching our weekly adventure episodes, we’re a bit sarcastic, a bit rough’n’tumble, and definitely opinionated. But don’t let that scare you! We love connecting with people and having those interesting conversations that seem to arise frequently in the honest open-air atmosphere that travelling creates.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us below either — we’d love to hear from you!

Our Home Wherever We Roam

Here she is – our pride and joy, the good ship Grey Matter!

Our vessel and home is a 42-foot steel-hull Bruce Roberts cutter-rigged sloop (whew, that’s a mouthful)! She was designed to be a long range cruiser, and has already sailed up and down the Pacific Coast from Alaska, USA to Mazatlan, Mexico.

For those interested in the nerdy details, she displaces about 37,000 lbs, has a 13-foot beam, and a 6.5-foot draft. She has a modern full/fin keel with a large skeg-hung rudder, and a sugar scoop transom with built-in swim platform. We estimate her freeboard to be about 5-feet from centre forward, and about 7-feet at the elevated aft deck.

Take A Tour of Our Sailboat — Watch This Video!

As an offshore cruising vessel, a third of her weight is contained in the ballast to account for heeling over or, heaven-forbid, a knockdown. To this end, all cabinetry are fitted with positive locking steel latches to prevent them accidentally opening and spilling their contents. There are also well placed hand-holds throughout the cabin, and we’re planning to install a galley harness so we can keep both hands free while cooking in whatever weather we happen to face.

S/V Grey Matter is a pilot house design, modelled after Bruce Roberts’ 392B sloop. She was fabricated in Bellingham, Washington and her interior and finishing work were completed by her first owner (a building contractor) who did up the entire interior in oak. She was launched in 1994, sold to an American couple in 1997, and we bought her from them in 2017 in Seattle, WA.

Our Goals for SaltWest

How We Do Things Differently

We are committed to staying true to our ourselves, and our content will always reflect our honest experiences. When we use affiliate links or participate in sponsorships, it’ll be because we actually use those products and can vouch for them (read our full Disclosure Policy here). Similarly for paid trips and company partnerships, they would have to align with our values.

Also, we work hard to pay our own way. Our profession is digital design and marketing. We run a small business consulting company where we make websites, create branding and logos, and provide business intelligence tools for entrepreneurs and local governments. We also have a smattering of odd-job skills that we use when need arises. When you live the cruiser lifestyle, it works best to have a few different irons in the fire. Anything that is contributed to us by donation or through our Patreon goes directly to offsetting our production costs and keeping this website going. So, we actually travel just like you would… we save up, and we go!

On this website, you will find:

  • Answers to questions about sailing, living on a sailboat, and all things sailing
  • Interviews with locals and other travellers on their experiences
  • Travel guides and tips for all of the places we visit
  • Detailed costs on what we spend to help you budget better for your trip or sailing-related purchases
  • In-depth guides and how-to videos for sailboat maintenance and repairs
  • Personal AND practical entries in our LogBook, including adventure video episodes (for those who like to watch, LOL)!

Our goal with this website and our videos is to share, entertain, and help people and that includes YOU. We aim to create useful and enjoyable content that will both inform and inspire. In the spirit of giving, we encourage you, whole-heartedly, to live your best life, and share your best with others in your community.

Thanks for visiting our website – we’re glad to have you on this journey with us!

Much love and smooth sailing,

  – Josh & Morgan

 

What You’ll Find Here

Feel free to drop us a line!

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