Archive for September, 2012

A visit with Sea Kayaker Magazine

Yesterday morning Mark and I dragged ourselves out of bed and into the car at 5 a.m. to begin a 15 hour drive north to Canada to visit friends on Saturna Island before running classes on Vancouver Island this coming weekend. On the way we stopped in Seattle, where we were warmly greeted by Paul Riek, Advertising and Promotions Manager of Sea Kayaker Magazine. We had a wonderful time catching up with not only him, but also publishers Joan and Michael Collins, sea kayakers Bob Burnett and Christine Burris, as well as Doug Helton, Incident Operations Coordinator for NOAA. Later that evening we made our way to editor, Chris Cunningham’s house to catch up with him before getting a great night of sleep after a long day of travel.

Going to work with Chris.

Paul hanging out at his desk.

The following morning we headed to Sea Kayaker Magazine to watch the magic happen. Mark and I work at a small, weekly newspaper during the winter, so we are aware of how much work goes into producing a publication. We were quite impressed that the popular magazine is put together by a staff of four full timers, and two part timers. Everyone was smiling and chatting as they worked diligently on putting together the next high quality edition of the magazine.

Chris and Paul with Editorial Assistant, Kat Wertzler.

Visiting the storage facility.

The large, one room office overlooks the Puget Sound and is decorated with charts, kayak frames and other intriguing objects that would catch any kayaker’s eye. We had a wonderful time talking with the staff and then visiting the storage facility across the street that houses back issues of the publication, merchandise and of course, kayaks. After a tasty breakfast and a short walk on the beach with Paul, we hopped back in the car to head up to the border, with crisp new Sea Kayaker hats on our heads.

Paul hooks us up with Sea Kayaker apparel.

Thanks Sea Kayaker for making us feel so welcome!

Photos by Mark Tozer.

The Traditional Paddlers Gathering

Earlier this week Mark and I returned home from The Traditional Paddlers Gathering. It was my third year mentoring at this event, and Mark’s first, and we had an absolute blast. One of the things that makes this Qajaq USA event so great is the people. The personalities that show up for The Gathering somehow blend in a way that not only makes the event an absolute riot, but it creates a unique learning environment as well.

A bunch of kayaks and a gorgeous lake.

Throughout the weekend I instructed five rolling clinics and a skin-on-frame rescue clinic. Mark and Jeff Forseth instructed two sessions titled “Strokes and Maneuvers with Uncle Jeff and Dr. T.” Mark also worked alongside me during two of the rolling clinics, and on Sunday morning he took a group out for a tour of the gorgeous lake. The local mentors were wonderful and worked both alongside us and ran classes of their own. On Saturday night Mark and I presented on our East Greenland expedition, and had lots of fun helping to raise funds for the event through raffle ticket sales.

Storm rolls.

A rolling clinic.

Joanie showing dynamic body rotation.

A common sight at any event that has skin-on-frame kayaks…

Another way to check out a skin-on-frame?

Sipke is ready to get wet.

Talking about differences in kayaks during the skin-on-frame rescue class.

Jeff talks about paddles during an on-land class.

Tony conducted an on-land class on rib bending.

All that rib bending can make a man hungry.

The Traditional Paddlers Gathering also hosts a fun, and somewhat famous, harpoon contest, run by Jeff Bjorgo, and sticking with tradition, the rules had once again been changed for this year’s gathering. Mark and I will be practicing harpooning styrofoam seals on a regular basis in preparation for next year’s contest.

The winners of the harpoon contest proudly display their trophies.

There were lots of goodies to be bought or won during the silent auction and the raffle drawing.

Special thanks to Jeff and Michelle Forseth for taking such great care of us.

See you all next year!

Photos by Mark Tozer and Renee DuFresne.

Paddlefest 2012

After returning home from our East Greenland Expedition, Mark and I hopped on a plane to Minneapolis, Minnesota. We met up with Jeff and Michelle Forseth and had a wonderful time catching up with them before I headed north to Thunder Bay in Canada to instruct at Paddlefest 2012. Mark went to Wisconsin with Jeff and Michelle to run a BCU 3 Star Sea Training for the Inland Sea Kayakers.

This was my fifth time instructing in Thunder Bay, and Joe and Diane of Joe O’ Paddles had set up a full weekend of activities for the eager participants.

Saturday morning started with me running a Yoga for Paddlers session on the shores of warm Oliver Lake. After waking up our minds, bodies and spirits I took half of the group for a rolling clinic, while Joe took the other half for a strokes clinic. In the afternoon we switched groups and then ended the day with a casual rescue and recovery class.

Happy rollers enjoying the warm lake.

Learning to roll.

Learning the finer points.

Taking a break while enjoying the gorgeous weather.

Figuring it all out.

Joe’s strokes class.

Learning rescues.

Sunday morning started once again with Yoga for Paddlers, this time followed by a paddle on Lake Superior. I paired up with Diane in a canoe, and we slowly made our way along the shoreline. At the turn around point I switched places with Joe, opting to paddle his kayak instead of the canoe.

Thunder Bay’s new marina has lots to look at, including creative stone artwork of balloon animals.

Diane, Joe and Dawna at the marina with a nice view of the Sleeping Giant behind them.

After the paddle we went to Joe and Diane’s house where I did a rolling demonstration in the pool, followed by an interactive Greenland Rope Gymnastics demonstration in the front yard. We had a tasty barbecue and ended the day with an evening slideshow presentation of the East Greenland Expedition that Mark and I guided earlier in the month.

Monday’s schedule started mid-day, and I instructed private classes in the pool until the evening.

It was a wonderful weekend, and always fun to see the Thunder Bay group. Thanks everyone, and see you next year!

I’m now back in Minnesota with Mark, Michelle and Jeff, and later today we’ll be heading to the Traditional Paddler’s Gathering at Lake Carlos State Park.

Photos by Chris Johnston.

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