Archive for August, 2014

Stockholm, Mora and Karlstad Sweden

After leaving Nynashamn, our next three stops were in Stockholm, Mora and Karlstad. All three locations are in Sweden, and in all three we were teaching on lakes. We started at Svima Sport in Stockholm. Throughout our time there I taught five sessions of Simplifying the Roll, and Mark taught four sessions of Simplifying the Stroke. We also helped Daniel, owner of Svima, with a class for beginners, which includes a nine kilometer tour of Stockholm by kayak. Special thanks to Daniel for hosting us.

Daniel covers the basics.

Daniel covers the basics.

Stockholm is a gorgeous city to explore by kayak.

Stockholm is a gorgeous city to explore by kayak.

All of the rolling classes started with Yoga for Paddlers.

All of the rolling classes started with Yoga for Paddlers.

People worked on all kinds of rolls. Lotta is learning her hand roll.

People worked on all kinds of rolls. Lotta is learning a hand roll.

Daniel learned the Spine Roll.

Daniel learned the Spine Roll.

After the classes in Stockholm, we made our way west, heading through Sweden to Mora. Mora is a wonderful place with friendly people, lots to see and a gorgeous lake. Magnus and Anders had organized a two-day event, which was very popular and very successful. I ran three sessions of Simplifying the Roll, while Mark ran three sessions of Simplifying the Stroke. Sunday afternoon was informal instruction, and instructors were available to help people clean up the techniques that they’d been working on throughout the weekend. Special thanks to Magnus and Anders for hosting us.

Both days of the event started with Yoga for Paddlers.

Both days of the event started with Yoga for Paddlers.

Mark talks about posture.

Mark talks about posture while paddling.

Throughout the weekend we enjoyed several tasty barbecues.

Throughout the weekend we enjoyed a couple of tasty barbecues.

Anders seemed happy with how the event turned out.

Anders seemed happy with how the event turned out.

And participants gave the weekend a thumbs up.

Martin gave the weekend a thumbs up.

We had a wonderful time working with everyone. Thanks for coming out!

We had a wonderful time working with everyone. Thanks for coming out!

After the event Magnus taught us all about crawfish, a delicacy that is celebrated during the month of August in Sweden.

After the event Magnus hosted a crayfish dinner. Crayfish is a delicacy that is celebrated during the month of August in Sweden.

And he showed us the correct way to enjoy the tasty freshwater crustaceans.

And he showed us the correct way to enjoy these tasty freshwater crustaceans.

Mora is also the home to the Dala Horse, and we stopped by the factory for a quick visit.

Mora is also the home to the Dala Horse, and we stopped by the factory for a quick visit.

Then we headed to Karlstad to run classes for Vanerkajak on Lake Vanern, the largest lake in Sweden. Although the lake is freshwater, its size gives it many of the same features as the sea. Throughout the three days we ran two sessions of Simplifying the Roll and a two-day BCU 3 Star Training. Thanks to Bjorn for hosting us.

During the rolling classes we worked on everything from the Balance Brace to the Storm Roll.

During the rolling classes we worked on everything from the Balance Brace to the Storm Roll.

Wind provided swell, breaking waves and a great learning environment.

Wind provided swell, breaking waves and a fantastic learning environment for the BCU 3 Star Training.

More wind to play in.

More wind to play in.

During the BCU 3 Star Training we spent some time working on both self and assisted rescues.

During the BCU 3 Star Training we spent some time working on both self and assisted rescues.

Here three swimmers help each other get back into their kayaks.

Here three swimmers help each other get back into their kayaks.

Topics such as repairing kayaks were also covered.

Topics such as repairing kayaks were also covered.

The candidates were tired but happy at the end of the training.

The candidates were tired but happy at the end of the training.

Oktoberfest was taking place in the town center, so we stopped in for a visit and to try on some wigs.

Oktoberfest was taking place in the town center, so we stopped in to join in the celebration.

Nynashamn, Sweden

After our South Greenland Expedition, Mark and I made our way to Nynas Kajak and Upplevelse, located in Nynashamn, Sweden. One of the things that we love about Nynas Kajak is the people. The owners, Pelle and Carina, are wonderful, and over the years have become our good friends.

We instructed there for nine days and had a wonderful time. During the nine days I ran six days of Simplifying the Roll and Traditional Skills, and Mark ran BCU Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning, a two-day BCU 4 Star Training, and he helped Pelle with a EPP Yellow course. I also ran eight sessions of Yoga for Outdoor People, and Pelle, Mark and I ran a three-day BCU 3 Star Training and Assessment combined with an EPP Blue Training and Assessment. Of course, evenings were spent catching up with Pelle and Carina, and we all took a day off to ride the roller coasters at Grona Lund in Stockholm.

Participants work hard during the BCU Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning class.

Participants work hard during the BCU Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning class.

Of course charts are also good when planning a real trip. Here the BCU 3 Star and EPP Blue candidates look at the proposed route for their three day training.

Of course charts are also good when planning a real trip. Here the BCU 3 Star and EPP Blue candidates look at the proposed route for their three day training and assessment.

The seas were mostly calm, but wash rocks created a little chop and a nice obstacle course.

The seas were mostly calm, but wash rocks created a little chop to practice turning strokes in.

Candidates learn the dos and don't of towing.

Candidates learn the dos and don’t of towing.

Towing put to use.

Towing put to use.

Our campsite was a little tricky to get to, and included a rocky landing and a short climb with fully loaded kayaks.

Our campsite was a little tricky to get to, and included a rocky landing and a short climb with fully loaded kayaks.

The campsite was well worth it though.

The campsite was well worth it though.

The following morning we took advantage of the calm sea state and made our way to this lighthouse, which is usually much trickier to get to.

The following morning we took advantage of the calm sea state and made our way to this lighthouse, which is usually much trickier to get to.

On assessment day Mark climbed a rock to watch the candidates demonstrate maneuvering strokes.

On assessment day Mark climbed a rock to watch the candidates demonstrate maneuvering strokes.

Lotta demonstrates directional control of her kayak.

Lotta demonstrates directional control.

Congratulations to the successful candidates.

Congratulations to the successful candidates.

I ran Yoga for Paddlers for the kayakers and guests at the hotel.

I ran Yoga for Paddlers for the kayakers and guests at the hotel.

During the Traditional Skills class we talked about many things, including the features of a Greenland paddle.

During the Traditional Skills class we talked about many things, including the features of a Greenland paddle.

Congrats to the successful EPP Yellow candidates.

A happy group of successful EPP Yellow candidates.

There's no better way to spend a day off than riding a roller coaster or two.

There’s no better way to spend a day off than riding a roller coaster or two.

And of course, spending the day with friends. Thanks Pelle and Carina!

And of course, spending the day with friends. Thanks Pelle and Carina!

Greenland or Bust’s August Newsletter

qajaq SOUTH GREENLAND EXPEDITION • THE NORDIC TOUR • WALES • SCOTLAND

When Mark and I began our Nordic Tour on May 24 the summer seemed very long. Now, with just over three weeks left of the tour, we can’t believe how quickly it has gone. The tour has taken us to numerous places in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. We’ve spent lots of days in the bright sun and warm water. We’ve taught classes on lakes and seas, and our days off have been spent with friends, riding roller coasters or sightseeing. It has been a wonderful summer, and there’s still more of it to come!

The tour is sponsored by Rebel Kayaks, and in July we ran classes in Oslo, Norway and Grebbestad, Sweden. Then we hopped on a plane to South Greenland to guide a 13 day expedition. Our paddling team came from the U.S., Israel and Sweden, and we enjoyed the diversity that each team member brought to the expedition. Greenland is a magical place, and we feel refreshed and renewed now that we’ve gotten our Greenland fix. Our next guided Greenland expedition will take place in the summer of 2016. Would you like to join us?

After Greenland we headed to Nynashamn, Sweden for nine days of instruction, which included a three-day tour with a combined EPP and BCU assessment. It was great to catch up with Pelle and Carina of Nynas Kajak. They are also the Europe distributors of our DVD, Yoga for Outdoor People, so if you need a few copies for your store, get in touch with them, info@nynaskajak.se. After leaving Nynashamn, we headed to Stockholm, which is where we are now. We’ve got one more day of classes here, and then we’ll finish the tour with classes in Mora, Karlstad, Malmo, Karlshamn and Sandhamn (Sweden) and Frederiksvaerk and Svendborg (Denmark). Then Helen is off to Minnesota for the Traditional Paddlers’ Gathering, and Mark heads to the UK to prepare for classes that we’ll be running in Wales and Scotland in late September and October.

Later this year we have classes and symposia scheduled in the U.S., Wales, Scotland, Israel and Mexico. We’ve also got an exciting expedition planned in December, and then we’ll we preparing for the U.S. Storm Gathering Symposium, which takes place in Trinidad, California on March 6, 7 and 8.

As usual, visit www.greenlandorbust.org for more information and our current Events calendar and Blog postings. For questions, comments or to schedule us in your neighborhood, email info@greenlandorbust.org.

Wherever you’re spending the rest of the summer, we hope that you’re enjoying some good water time. Happy paddling!

– Helen and Mark

Dr. T’s Coaching Corner

Most sea kayakers would agree that some form of towing system, whether participating in a coastal journey or venturing out on the open ocean, is an essential item to have as part of their safety equipment.

Towing systems come in different forms, they can be waist mounted; boat mounted and chest mounted. Make sure to fully test the system you go for and be aware of its limitations. The system that is right for you is the system that works for you, without fuss or fumbling, so practice with it on a regular basis.

When shopping for a towing system, or even making your own, consider asking the following questions: does it come with floating line? is the line long enough? can the length of line be adjusted easily? does it have a quick release mechanism? does it have a large enough bag so the line can be restowed quickly, even with cold hands? is the clip large enough for handling in rough water; and is it made from a corrosion resistant material? Whatever you choose, make sure to adapt it so the system works for you in all situations.

Once you have selected a towing system, it is just as important to know how and when to deploy it. Towing can be a means to assist an incapacitated paddler and get them to a safe location. This might be a short distance or a couple of miles in open water. Doing this quickly and efficiently can make all the difference in preventing a situation from worsening.

You might wish to tow someone on their own for a short distance, but for longer distances it might be preferable to raft them up with another paddler. You may want to share the load of towing by adding more tows in-line with the original towing kayak. For even greater distances, having a effective method of swapping paddlers around who are doing the towing is an important consideration.

Towing systems can also be used to help anchor a paddler performing a deep water rescue on a fellow kayaker to prevent them both from drifting into rocks or being taken away by the current. Other uses can include using them as stirups to help a tired paddler climb into their boat; acting as a sea anchor; a tarp line; and for use as a short, quick release contact tow.

Every system has it merits and disadvantages. Learn to use the one you choose and train with others to test each situation and explore the possibiities so that when you need it for real it all works smoothly.

Nordic Tour:

• May 23 to July 4 and July 24 to August 31

• May 24 to 25 – Helsingborg, Sweden

• May 30 to June 1 – Bergen, Norway

• June 7 to 9 – Fitjar, Norway

• June 14 to 15 – Bekkjarvik, Norway

• June 26 – Rungsted, Denmark

• June 27 to 29 – Copenhagen, Denmark

• July 1 to 3 – Oslo, Norway

• July 4 to 5 – Grebbestad, Sweden

• July 24 to August 4 – Nynashamn, Sweden

• August 5 to 7 – Stockholm, Sweden

• August 9 to 10 – Mora, Sweden

• August 12 to 14 – Karlstad, Sweden

• August 16 to 17 – Frederiksværk, Denmark

• August 20 to 21 – Svendborg, Denmark

• August 23 – Malmo, Sweden

• August 24 – Karlshamn, Sweden

• August 29 to 31 – Sandhamn, Sweden

Program Schedule

Traditional Paddlers’ Gathering: September 4 to 7, Lake Carlos State Park, Minnesota

BCU 4 Star Sea Assessment: September 13 to 14, Anglesey, Wales

Intermediate / Advanced Leader and Trip Planning Training: September 22 to 26, Anglesey, Wales

Simplifying the Roll: September 27, Anglesey, Wales

Combat Rolling: September 28, Anglesey, Wales

Qajaq Immersion Weekend: October 4 to 5, Bute, Scotland

…And Finally

Working on your roll and need a little help? Simplifying the Roll with Helen Wilson and Yoga for Outdoor People are available for purchase by clicking HERE .

============================================================ Copyright © 2014 Greenland or Bust, All rights reserved.

Helen Wilson and Mark Tozer • (707) 834-5501 info@greenlandorbust.org

Greenland!

A wonderful Greenlandic woman named Heidi recently described Greenland as a dose of vitamins. You go to Greenland, and every day your body fills with vitamins. When you leave Greenland, your body starts to use those vitamins, and eventually, they’re all gone, and you have to return. When she told us this, I couldn’t help but smile, because it’s true, and it was time for our Greenland vitamin fix. For both Mark and I this was our fourth trip to Greenland, and the second together. This time the destination was South Greenland, and six clients joined us for Greenland or Bust’s South Greenland Expedition, which included 13 days on the water and 300 kilometers paddled.

The "team" before heading out on day one.

The “team” before heading out on day one.

Wind had driven ice into the harbor, which turned our launch site into an obstacle course.

Wind had driven ice into the harbor, which turned our launch site into an obstacle course.

In fact we had lots of ice to maneuver through on the first day.

In fact we had lots of ice to maneuver through on the first day.

A short crossing to some ruins gave us the opportunity to get to know the kayaks.

A short crossing to Qassiarsuk gave us the opportunity to get to know the kayaks.

Then we headed out into the ice.

Then we headed out into the ice.

Paddling amongst ice is a magical experience.

No two icebergs are alike.

Oded takes in the spectacular scenery., which is paddexperience than where h

Oded takes in the spectacular scenery.

Every iceberg takes on a personality of its own.

Every iceberg takes on a personality of its own.

More ice.

More ice.

And still more.

And still more.

This seal bravely hangs out on a piece of ice.

This seal bravely hangs out on a piece of ice.

Greenland's landscape can feel very vast, and what looks to be a short crossing often isn't.

Greenland’s landscape can feel very vast, and what looks to be a short crossing often isn’t.

At times the ice moved in a solid flow, but we were always able to pass.

At times the ice moved in a solid flow, but we were always able to pass.

Drinking water was easy to find, and filters weren't needed.

Drinking water was easy to find, and filters weren’t needed.

We had three portages throughout the trip. This ramp helped out a lot.

We had three portages throughout the trip. This ramp helped out a lot.

The top of the land bridge.

The top of the land bridge.

The journey down was the best part.

The journey down was the best part.

The second land bridge wasn't quite as much fun… up a rocky beach, a short paddle across a murky pond and down a rocky beach.

The second land bridge wasn’t quite as much fun… up a rocky beach, a short paddle across a murky pond and down a rocky beach.

Our final portage took us, our kayaks and our gear across four kilometers in the back of a flatbed truck.

Our final portage took us, our kayaks and our gear across four kilometers in the back of a flatbed truck.

Many of the best landing beaches had Norse or Inuit ruins. Here the group stands in an old Inuit earth house.

Many of the best landing beaches had Norse or Inuit ruins. Here the group stands in the remains of an Inuit earth house.

This pile of rocks is an Inuit grave. Over time many of these graves have opened up, revealing bones from long ago.

This pile of rocks is an Inuit grave. Over time many of these graves have opened up, revealing bones from long ago.

This day our "camp" was a little tricky to get to.

This day our “camp” was a little tricky to get to.

But getting to the top was well worth the trip. This "space pod," as we named it, was unlocked and ready to provide shelter.

But getting to the top was well worth the hike. This “space pod,” as we named it, was unlocked and ready to provide shelter.

Norse ruins line the hillsides. The "space pod" was likely placed for researchers to study the ruins that are not easily assessable.

Norse ruins line the hillsides. The “space pod” was likely placed for researchers to study the ruins that are not easily assessable.

Many of the ruins were in very good condition.

Many of the ruins were in very good condition.

We visited active villages as well. Here Gennifer buys pastries from an Inuit woman in Narsaq.

We visited active settlements as well. Here Gennifer buys pastries from an Inuit woman in Narsaq.

Our lunch spots and campsites were always scenic.

Our lunch spots and campsites were always scenic.

Sunsets were always spectacular.

Sunsets were always spectacular.

Piles of rocks are a common site in Greenland.

Piles of rocks are a common site in Greenland.

Watching icebergs from shore can be fun, especially when they put on a show by rolling or shedding smaller bergs.

Watching icebergs from shore can be fun, especially when they put on a show by rolling or shedding smaller bergs.

Gennifer shares some whale, which she'd purchased in a town and cooked up as an evening treat.

Gennifer shares some whale, which she’d purchased in a town and cooked up as an evening treat.

I'm not sure there's a prettier place to enjoy a morning cup of coffee.

I don’t think there’s a prettier place to enjoy a morning cup of coffee.

Mark cooks up some tasty falafels.

Mark cooks up some tasty falafels.

Camp always had a very relaxed feel.

Camp often had a very relaxed feel.

Iceberg chair.

Iceberg chair.

We spent a night camping at some hot springs.

We spent a night camping at some hot springs.

Every team member had the opportunity to plan part of the route. Here Jack tells the group the plan.

Every team member had the opportunity to plan part of the route. Here Jack tells the group the plan.

We stayed in Qaqortoq for two nights and a full day to experience some of the Greenland National Kayaking Championship.

We stayed in Qaqortoq for two nights and a full day to experience some of the Greenland National Kayaking Championship.

Kampe and Dubside greeted us upon arrival.

Kampe and Dubside greeted us upon arrival, and it was great to catch up with them.

Heidi teaches Greenlandic during breakfast at the hostel.

Heidi teaches Greenlandic during breakfast at the hostel.

A sealskin akuilisaq is ready for the competition.

A sealskin akuilisaq is ready for the competition.

This avataq is complete with feet.

This avataq is complete with feet.

A father teaches his son how to roll.

A father teaches his son how to roll.

Kampe coaches Heather (a visitor from Canada) on the ropes.

Kampe coaches Heather (a visitor from New York) on the ropes.

This boy competes in Greenland Rope Gymnastics.

This boy competes in Greenland Rope Gymnastics.

The rolling competition is always a great spectator event.

The rolling competition is always a great spectator event.

This boy is ready to roll. The tuilik that he is wearing is made from sealskin.

This boy is ready to roll, and he’s wearing a sealskin tuilik for the occasion.

This boy prepares to do a norsaq roll.

This boy prepares to do a norsaq roll.

This man is ready to do the avataq roll.

This man is ready to do the avataq roll.

These proud fathers embrace after their sons compete in the team rolling event.

These proud fathers embrace after their sons compete in the team rolling event.

Canadians James and James embrace after competing in the team rolling event.

Canadians James and James embrace after competing in the team rolling event.

There are many types of races in the Championship.

There are many types of races in the Championship.

And just about everyone got a medal or two.

And just about everyone got a medal or two.

More winners.

More winners.

Sealskin kayaks are displayed in the museum.

Sealskin kayaks are displayed in the museum.

After the expedition we had a traditional Greenlandic dinner in Narsarsuaq.

After the expedition we had a traditional Greenlandic dinner in Narsarsuaq.

Muktuk, or whale blubber, is a delicacy.

Mattak, or whale blubber, is a delicacy.

Greenlandic Coffee is a special treat… and a very good one.

Greenlandic Coffee is a special treat… and a very good one.

Mark and I are well stocked up on our "Greenland Vitamins." We'll be back though… would you like to join us?

Mark and I are well stocked up on our “Greenland Vitamins.” We’ll be back though… would you like to join us?

 

 

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