Archive for April, 2015

East Coast Paddlesports and Outdoor Festival – Charleston, South Carolina

Last week I returned home from the East Coast Paddlesports and Outdoor Festival. It was my third time being a presenter at this fun event, which takes place at James Island County Park in Charleston, South Carolina.

It's always fun to watch kayaks show up at the start of an event.

It’s always fun to watch kayaks show up at the start of an event.

There were lots of booths to explore.

Vendor booths lined the shores of the lake.

Getting through the booths took time, because it was lots of fun to stop and chat with everyone.

Getting through the booths took time because it was great to stop and chat with everyone.

The event includes canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, rock climbing, slacklining, mountain biking, archery and disc golf. Participants could come to play and try out gear, shop at one of the many booths, take classes or enjoy the entertainment. Evening entertainment included a Reggae Night Concert with Black Lion and the Reel Paddling Film Festival.

The lake provided a great opportunity for people to try out all kinds of watercraft.

The lake was a great place for people to try out all kinds of watercraft.

There was even a double SUP.

There was even a double SUP.

It was wonderful to catch up with east coast paddlers, vendors, presenters and the awesome volunteers, who are always there when you need a little help.

Everyone was friendly and into the spirit of the event, which celebrated its 25th year.

Everyone was friendly and into the spirit of the event, which was celebrating its 25th year.

It was great to catch up with Kenny from Epic.

It was great to catch up with Kenny from Epic.

P&H Kayaks were there, and it was great to catch up with everyone.

P&H Kayaks was there with demo boats and provided beginner classes.

Throughout the three-day event I did classroom presentations called “Jamaica, A Circumnavigation Attempt” and “A Women’s Survival Guide to Wilderness Travel.” I also instructed Simplifying the Roll, Complicating the Roll and Intro to Greenland Kayaking. The last day of the event I instructed Intro to Rolling, which was presented by P&H Kayaks.

Having so much fun is hard work. This dog has the right idea.

Having so much fun is hard work. This dog had the right idea.

Special thanks to Charleston County Parks and Recreation, Josh Hall and John Radel for having me there and for all of their hard work putting this event together!

It was great hanging out with other presenters in my cabin and the one next door.

It was great hanging out with other presenters in my cabin and the one next door.

And equally as fun to go out for a post event dinner at the local wine bar.

And equally as fun to go out for a post event dinner at the local wine bar.

Slots, arches, caves, classes and a ghost or two in the UK

One of the things that I really enjoy about the UK is its diversity. There are mountains to climb, waters to paddle, sleepy towns, bustling cities and a whole bunch of places that simply have a charm of their own.

Since my last blog, we’ve run a BCU 3 Star Sea Assessment, a BCU 4 Star Sea Training, a BCU Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning, two Simplifying the Roll classes and a Combat Rolling class. We’ve spent some time exploring, and we’ve had a ton of fun.

A group of rollers at Rhoscolyn Beach on Anglesey in Wales.

A group of rollers at Rhoscolyn Beach on Anglesey in Wales.

We worked on all types of rolls in the chilly water.

We worked on all types of rolls in the chilly water.

When rolls are born, smiles emerge.

When rolls are born, smiles emerge.

(NAME?) enjoys the day.

Richard enjoys the day.

The Combat Rolling class took place at Point Lynas on Anglesey on an incredibly windy day. The headland provided just the right amount of protection from the gale force winds, while still providing enough conditions for the class to run.

The Combat Rolling class took place at Point Lynas on Anglesey on an incredibly windy day. The headland provided just the right amount of protection from the gale force winds, while still providing enough conditions for the class to run.

In addition to classes, we also had some time for paddling.

Mark and I headed out from (beach?) to Puffin Island.

Mark and I headed out from Penmon to Puffin Island.

During most of our time on Anglesey we enjoyed gorgeous weather.

During most of our time on Anglesey we enjoyed gorgeous weather.

Anglesey is well known for its tide races and overfalls, but there are also fantastic rock gardens to explore.

Anglesey is well known for its tide races and overfalls, but there are also fantastic rock gardens to explore.

And dramatic slots to paddle through.

And dramatic slots to paddle through.

Tides and swells moving amongst the rocks can make things interesting.

Tides and swells moving amongst the rocks can make things interesting.

There are also archways.

There are also archways.

And more archways.

And more archways.

And caves.

And caves.

Many of the caves have very colorful rock walls.

Many of the caves have very colorful rock walls.

And many have high ceilings and multiple caverns.

And many have high ceilings and multiple caverns.

There's just something about caves.

There’s just something about caves.

We headed around "The Stacks" on a gorgeous day.

We headed around “The Stacks” on a gorgeous day.

After a couple of weeks in North Wales, we headed to York, England. York is one of my favorite places in England, and it was great to be back. We stayed in a hotel just outside the city walls and visited St. Peter’s School, the fourth oldest school in the world, and where Mark went to as a teenager, before heading into the heart of the city.

Mark takes a trip down memory lane at St. Peter's School.

Mark takes a trip down memory lane at St. Peter’s School.

Of course, in a city with so much history, there are bound to be ghosts. We spent an evening at The Golden Fleece, the most haunted licensed premises in York.

Of course, in a city with so much history, there are bound to be ghosts. We spent an evening at The Golden Fleece, the most haunted licensed premises in York.

And we enjoyed a beer with the resident skeleton.

And we enjoyed a beer with the resident skeleton.

York's ministry is very impressive.

York Minster is very impressive.

In the evening we went on the Ghost Hunt, which is well worth doing if you ever visit York.

In the evening we went on the Ghost Hunt, which is well worth doing if you ever visit York.

The following day we headed to Whitby, a fishing town on the east coast of England, and at one-time home to the explorer James Cook. Also, Bram Stoker found some inspiration for his novel ‘Dracula’ after staying in Whitby in 1890.

Whitby's scenic harbor has a unique whale bone shape.

Whitby’s scenic harbor has a unique whale bone shape.

The Abbey sits high on the hill.

The Abbey sits high on the hill.

All in all, we had a fantastic time in the UK. After leaving, I headed to the East Coast Paddlesports and Outdoor Festival in Charleston, South Carolina (more on that in the next blog), and Mark stuck around in the UK for the Essential Sea Kayak Weekend.

A gorgeous sunset on Trearddur bay Bay on Anglesey.

A gorgeous sunset on Trearddur Bay on Anglesey.

Greenland or Bust’s April Newsletter

NewsSTORM GATHERING VIDEO • NORDIC TOUR • ANTARCTICA

With the launch of Storm Gathering USA, February and March were very busy months for Greenland or Bust. So busy, in fact, that we never got around to sending our March newsletter. Busy is good however, and we’re looking forward to a busy and wonderful summer.

Storm Gathering USA took place in Trinidad, California from March 6 to 8, and it was an absolute blast! There wasn’t much of a “storm” weather wise, but people didn’t seem to mind, and instead welcomed the sunshine, calm seas and large numbers of whales that made an appearance. Despite the calm seas, excitement was found amongst rock gardens and surf, and mild conditions meant that classes could get into places that are usually inaccessible. We’ve put together a little video of the event, which can be viewed HERE. Thank you to all of the participants, coaches, safety boaters, volunteers, sponsors, chefs and Coast Guards who took part in the event. The next UK Storm Gathering takes place February 20 to 22 in Anglesey, Wales, and the next Storm Gathering USA event on the West Coast takes place March 3 to 5, 2017.

We’re currently in Wales, and will be running Simplifying the Roll and a Traditional Paddling and Greenland Rolling Day this weekend. After that we’ve got a five-day BCU 4 Star Sea Training combined with BCU Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning. We’ll take a break for Easter and then run a second Simplifying the Roll class and Combat Rolling. After that Helen heads to Charleston, South Carolina for the East Coast Paddlesports and Outdoor Festival. Then she’ll run private and semi-private classes during the ENC Kayaking Social before heading to Bacalar, Mexico for Paddle Marathon Laguna Bacalar 2015. Meanwhile, Mark will be in Wales at the Essentials Sea Kayak Weekend, as well as running a BCU 4 Star Sea Assessment and a BCU 4 Star Refresher Week. After that we’ve got more BCU programs, classes in Lodi, California, and then our Rebel Kayaks supported Nordic Tour begins.

This year’s tour is bigger and better than ever, and we have classes scheduled in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. We are very excited to be back for another tour, and look forward to seeing all of our Scandinavian friends again. Click HERE for our 2015 tour schedule.

Have you ever dreamed of kayaking in Antarctica? We are guiding an expedition there from December 31, 2015 to January 27/28, 2016. E-mail us at info@greenlandorbust.org for details.

As usual, visit www.greenlandorbust.org for more information and our current Events calendar and Blog postings. You can also follow us on Twitter. For questions, comments or to schedule us in your neighborhood, e-mail: info@greenlandorbust.org.

Happy paddling!

Helen and Mark

Dr. T’s Coaching Corner

In December’s newsletter, we began talking about the technical, tactical, physiological and psychological factors (TTPP) that make up a paddler’s performance.

This month we look at ways to develop a kayaker’s technical ability. To recap, this element represents the individual skill that, when executed well, forms the technical template of ‘best practice’ for a stroke. Progress occurs through the use of instruction and structured practice, with the coach evaluating each movement and providing feedback. Skills practiced well will set a paddler up for future success.

To learn a skill, it is likely that an individual will need initial input via demonstration or instruction.

Whole Method – a skill can be taught or shown as a whole so the paddler can appreciate the complete movement and execution of a technique. Simple skills benefit from this method.

Part Method – When a skill is complex it is more appropriate to breakdown the compound movement into its constituent parts. The parts can then be taught and linked together to develop the final skill.

Whole / Part / Whole – Initially the individual attempts the whole skill and the coach records those parts that not being executed well. Part instruction can be used to address the issues, followed by the paddler repeating the whole skill with the coach monitoring progress.

Once a skill has been taught, then it is a matter of structuring the right practice format to aid learning, of which there are several formats:

Fixed – a specific movement is practiced repeatedly. Closed skills are often practiced in this way.

Massed – a skill is practiced continuously until the skill is becomes ingrained. Suitable with simple tasks and high levels of motivation.

Variable – the skill is practiced in the range of conditions that it could be experienced. Open skills are best practiced in this way.

Distributed – breaks are taken whilst developing the skill. This is suitable when the skill is new or complex, as fatigue can result in injury, reduced motivation or environmental conditions become poor.

However, whilst developing a technical template of ‘best practice’ is important to a paddler, the real value comes when they can apply these skills in a strategic or tactical way. More on that next time 🙂

Program Schedule

Simplifying the Roll:
March 28, Anglesey, Wales

Traditional Paddling & Greenland Rolling:
March 29, Anglesey, Wales

BCU 4 Star Sea Training and Coastal Navigation:
March 30 to April 3, Anglesey, Wales

Simplifying the Roll:
April 11, Anglesey, Wales

Combat Rolling:
April 12, Anglesey, Wales

East Coast Paddlesports and Outdoor Festival:
April 17 to 19, Charleston, South Carolina

Kayak Essentials Festival:
April 18 to 19, Anglesey, Wales

BCU 4 Star Sea Assessment:
April 20 to 21, Anglesey, Wales

Private and Semi-Private Classes during the ENC Kayaking Social:
April 23 to 26, Trinidad, California

BCU 4 Star Refresher Week:
April 27 to May 1, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Paddle Marathon Laguna Bacalar 2015:
May 1 to 3, Bacalar, Mexico

BCU 4 Star Sea Training:
May 5 to 6, Anglesey, Wales

BCU 4 Star Sea Assessment:
May 7 to 8, Anglesey, Wales

Simplifying the Roll
May 16 and 17, Lodi, California

Simplifying the Rescue:
May 16, Lodi, California

Nordic Tour:
May 23 to August 30, Norway, Denmark and Sweden

 …And Finally

Working on your roll and need a little help? Simplifying the Roll with Helen Wilson and Yoga for Outdoor People are available from our on-line store HERE

Yoga for Outdoor People can also be purchased as a download from the Digital Goods Store.

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Copyright © 2015 Greenland or Bust, All rights reserved.

Helen Wilson and Mark Tozer • (707) 834-5501

info@greenlandorbust.org

Back on Anglesey

Last week I arrived on Anglesey, where Mark and I will be running classes for several weeks. Anglesey is a fantastic place and a top notch kayaking location, and people come from all over the world to climb its stunning cliffs and hillsides, hike its mountains, and, of course, to experience sea kayaking at its finest, which includes tide races, overfalls, caves and wildlife.

One thing that can make Anglesey challenging however, is the wind. When the wind picks up, waves form. And when the current and wind are traveling in opposite directions, things can get really interesting. Last weekend however, the current and the wind didn’t matter, and our classes found shelter at Point Lynas and Rhoscolyn.

A group of happy paddlers ready for a day on the water.

A group of happy paddlers ready for a day on the water.

VWVWV works on the Balance Brace.

Kathryn works on the Balance Brace.

On Saturday we ran two sessions of Simplifying the Roll, and on Sunday we ran a Traditional Paddling and Greenland Rolling Day. It was fantastic to work with paddlers on everything from the Balance Brace to the Storm Roll, and equally as fun to do some Greenland stroke work.

Evelyn cleans up her Standard Roll.

Evelyn cleans up her Standard Roll.

Set-up position is key.

Set-up position is key.

VWVWV demonstrates a beautiful Standard Greenland Roll.

Gary demonstrates a beautiful Standard Greenland Roll.

This week we have a fantastic group from the U.S., Denmark and Sweden, and we’re heading out into the wind and waves for a BCU 3 Star Sea Assessment, a BCU 4 Star Sea Training with Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning. Thanks to Pete of Summit to Sea for providing us with an indoor classroom and keeping us well caffeinated. If you’re in Wales and haven’t stopped by his store yet, it’s well worth checking out.

Pete at Summit to Sea.

Pete at Summit to Sea.

Derek works on the Storm Roll.

Derek works on the Storm Roll.

We talked a lot about the Greenland paddle and how to use it.

We talked a lot about the Greenland paddle and how to use it.

Join us for a class to find out what's going on here :-)

Join us for a class to find out what’s going on here 🙂

Happy rollers.

Happy rollers.

Of course, we’ve had time for other things as well, including walking in Cwm Idwal, wave watching at Trearddur Bay and munching on Toad in the Hole (vegetarian style), which Mark cooked up… AND collecting my new P&H Cetus LV (more on that soon).

Spectacular views from VWVWV.

Spectacular views from the Devil’s Kitchen across Cwm Idwal.

My new kayak, affectionately named "Skunk," because of her white keel strip and trim.

My new kayak, affectionately named “Skunk,” because of her white keel strip and trim.

Trearddur Bay.

Trearddur Bay.

Mark made us Toad in the Whole (vegetarian style). For those in the U.S., this does not contain mashed potatoes (although that would be yummy too).

Mark made us Toad in the Whole (vegetarian style). For those in the U.S., this does not contain mashed potatoes (although that would be yummy too).

And a close up.

And a close up, of the Toad in the Whole, not my husband.

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