Archive for May, 2015

Paddle Marathon Laguna Bacalar 2015 – Bacalar, Mexico

Last week I returned home from the Paddle Marathon Laguna Bacalar 2015, which took place in Bacalar, Mexico. Bacalar is gorgeous. It’s located just north of Belize on a freshwater lagoon surrounded by a jungle.

I stayed at the Villas Ecotucan, which are run by Arturo, Gunnar and Jaqueline. (Gunnar and Jaqueline are also organizers of the Paddle Marathon Laguna Bacalar 2015.) The place was absolutely incredible!

One of the two cabins that I stayed in.

One of the two cabins that I stayed in.

The thatch-roofed cabins are made out of native materials. Jaqueline worded it well by saying it's like luxury camping.

The thatch-roofed cabins are made out of native materials. Jaqueline worded it well by saying it’s like luxury camping.

The open style restaurant was a wonderful place to relax and socialize.

The open restaurant was a wonderful place to relax and socialize.

bljbkjbkjb

The lagoon was on the property and just a short distance from the cabins.

Gunnar runs kayaking trips on the lagoon for guests. I tagged along on one of these trips.

Gunnar runs kayaking trips on the lagoon for guests. I tagged along on one of these trips.

It was fun to paddle around the mangroves.

It was fun to paddle around the mangroves.

Throughout the kayaking trip we stopped several times to enjoy a dip in the warm water or some freshly picked tropical fruit.

Throughout the kayaking trip we stopped several times to enjoy a dip in the warm water or some fresh tropical fruit.

It was very relaxing to swim in the warm water.

It was very relaxing to swim in the warm water.

After returning from the kayaking trip, I headed out with Jaqueline for a nature walk in the jungle (this is another service provided to guests at Ecotucan).

There are many animals in the jungle, and although Jaguar sightings are rare, this sign was brought up in many conversations.

There are many animals in the jungle, and although jaguar sightings are rare, this sign was brought up in many conversations.

The jungle trail.

The jungle trail.

Jaqueline is very knowledgeable about the plants, birds, bugs and animals in the area.

Jaqueline is very knowledgeable about the plants, birds, bugs and animals in the area.

Seeing this tarantula in the jungle was a real treat.

Seeing this tarantula in the jungle was a real treat.

Visitors with open eyes could spot all kinds of wildlife. Here a bunch of geckos enjoy the evening.

Visitors with open eyes could spot all kinds of wildlife. Here a bunch of geckos enjoy the evening.

I spent quite a bit of time trying to find a scorpion. My last night in Bacalar, one came to me.

I spent quite a bit of time trying to find a scorpion. My last night in Bacalar, one came to me.

Of course, besides from hanging out in paradise, there was a paddling event taking place. The two-day race brought in over 70 participants in all types of watercraft; including Mayan canoes, kayaks and stand up paddleboards.

It was a treat to paddle across the lagoon on a five person stand up paddleboard.

It was a treat to paddle across the lagoon on a five person stand up paddleboard.

Steve and Lise prepare to race kayaks built by Gunnar.

Steve and Lise prepare to race kayaks built by Gunnar.

The Mayan canoes were gorgeous, and each of them held ten paddlers.

The Mayan canoes were gorgeous, and each of them held ten paddlers.

Before the race people were warming up and spirits were high.

Before the race participants warmed up, and spirits were high.

The kayaks and canoes were first to start the race.

The kayaks and canoes were first to start the race.

The stand up paddleboards started just seconds later.

The stand up paddleboards started just seconds later.

While the race was going on, I hung out at the booth chatting with people about traditional kayaking. I also ran a private class, teaching the Storm Roll.

While the race was going on, I hung out at the booth chatting with people about traditional kayaking. I also ran a private class, teaching the Storm Roll.

Gunnar's balance boards were fun for all ages.

Gunnar’s balance boards were fun for all ages.

The weather was hot, and everyone (including Tyson here) had ways of cooling off.

The weather was hot, and everyone (including Tyson here) found ways to cool off.

It was fun watching the racers come in.

It was fun watching the racers come in.

27

Racing is hard work.

Racing is hard work.

Throughout the week, I had the chance to try lots of different food and drink (all of which were very tasty).

This michelada is a Mexican drink made with beer, lime juice and assorted sauces, spices and peppers. I didn't mean to order it, but I was glad I did :-)

This michelada is a Mexican drink made with beer, lime juice and assorted sauces, spices and peppers.

I also really enjoyed the fresh fruit and coconuts.

I also really enjoyed the fresh fruit and coconuts.

One evening we got fresh tamales from a street vendor.

One evening we got fresh tamales from a street vendor.

The tamales are wrapped in banana leaves and covered with a very spicy chili sauce (optional - but delicious).

The tamales are wrapped in banana leaves and covered with a very spicy chili sauce (optional – but delicious).

The airport was a four hour drive from Bacalar, and I left a day early with Lise and Steve (pictured previously in this blog) to relax for a night in the city of Tulum.

The airport was a four hour drive from Bacalar, and I left a day early with Lise and Steve (pictured previously in this blog) to relax for a night in the city of Tulum.

Tulum has white sand beaches, relaxing hotels, tasty restaurants… and the Caribbean Sea.

Tulum has white sand beaches, relaxing hotels, tasty restaurants and the Caribbean Sea.

Of course, there were fish tacos as well.

Of course, there were fish tacos as well.

All in all, it was a wonderful week. Thanks to Gunnar and Jaqueline for having me out for the event!

Greenland or Bust’s May Newsletter

MayJUNGLES • LAGOONS • OCEANS • SEAS • NORDIC TOUR

For us here at Greenland or Bust, kayaking season is in full swing, and the year ahead looks awesome! Helen is currently in Bacalar, Mexico, at the Paddle Marathon Laguna Bacalar 2015, and Mark is currently running a five day BCU 4 Star Training in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

We were in Wales and England for a large part of April, and enjoyed running Simplifying the Roll, Combat Rolling and a week long BCU 4 Star Sea Training on Anglesey. We also squeezed in time for some personal paddling and adventure. After that, Helen flew across “the pond” to be a presenter at the East Coast Paddlesports and Outdoor Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. Meanwhile, Mark stuck around Wales for the Kayak Essentials Festival on Anglesey, followed by a BCU 4 Star Sea Assessment with candidates from Finland, Germany and Canada. Helen then headed to California to run classes during the Explore North Coast Kayaking Social. As mentioned, Mark is currently in Pembrokeshire, Wales running a BCU 4 Star training week, and Helen is enjoying the jungle and lagoon while teaching and presenting at the Paddle Marathon Laguna Bacalar 2015 in Bacalar, Mexico.

Coming up in May Mark will be running a BCU 4 Star Sea Training and a BCU 4 Star Sea Assessment on Anglesey in Wales, and Helen will be running Simplifying the Roll and Simplifying the Rescue in Lodi, California. After all of that 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. With the success of this year’s Storm Gathering USA, we’ve had lots of inquiries about future events, and it’s always good to plan ahead 🙂 The next UK Storm Gathering takes place February 20 to 22, 2016 on Anglesey in Wales, and the next Storm Gathering USA takes place March 3 to 5, 2017 in Trinidad, California.

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

Helen’s Mentoring Madness

When performing a rescue, give loud and clear directions to the rescuee, and be ready to modify your rescue if necessary. Remember that the purpose of a rescue is to get the rescuee back in their kayak as quickly as possible. This might require modification of a “textbook rescue.” It is very important to keep yourself (the rescuer) safe. If the rescuer is not safe, then the rescuer could become another rescuee. As the rescuer, you should take care of yourself. Be ready to abandon the rescue and start again if the rescuee puts you in danger. When a rescuee re-enters their kayak, there can be a lot of strain put on the rescuer. When the kayaks are rafted together, lean into the center as much as possible, this helps to distribute the pressure of the rescue throughout your core, instead of putting all of the pressure on your shoulder(s). Keeping your elbows bent also reduces pressure on the shoulder(s), which can reduce the possibility of shoulder injury.

Program Schedule

BCU 4 Star Training 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

BCU 4 Star Sea Training: May 13 to 14, 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

May 23 to 24 Asker, Norway

May 29 to 31 Oslo, Norway

June 6 to 7 Fitjar, Norway

June 9 to 11 Bergen, Norway

June 13 to 14 Bekkjarvik, Norway

June 20 to 21 Stavanger, Norway

June 26 to 29 Copenhagen, Denmark

July 3 to 4 Grebbestad, Sweden

July 9 to 12 Stockholm, Sweden

July 16 to 18 Mora, Sweden

July 22 to 26 Nynashamn, Sweden

July 28 to 30 Sandhamn, Sweden

August 1 to 3 Karlstad, Sweden

August 8 to 9 Helsingborg, Sweden

August 11 to 12 Rungsted, Denmark

August 15 to 16 Frederiksværk, Denmark

August 22 to 23 Svendborg, Denmark

August 29 Malmo, Sweden

August 30 Karlshamn, 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.

============================================================
Copyright © 2015 Greenland or Bust, All rights reserved.

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

info@greenlandorbust.org

Newsletter Sign Up

Sponsors
Kokata Kayak Clothing Accessories Apparel Gath Sports Helmets Sea Kayaker Magazine P&H Custom Sea Kayaks Kayak Paddles by OBlenis Paddles Thule Sweden Fat Paddler - Live. Laugh. Paddle!