‘Helen’s Blog’

Denmark and Sweden, the Nordic Tour Continues

We’re now about nine weeks into this year’s Nordic Tour, and so far it has been a wonderful summer. This year’s Rebel Kayaks supported tour began in Norway, where we had classes through the end of June. To read about that part of the tour, click HERE.

After leaving Norway, we made our way to Copenhagen, Denmark for four days of classes at Kajakhotellet. I taught Simplifying the Roll and Complicating the Roll while Mark ran a BCU 3 Star Sea training. We also ran two skills classes for the local kayaking club and a coach development workshop for the local instructors.

It was great to catch up with Anders at Kajakhotellet.

It was great to catch up with Anders at Kajakhotellet.

While we were in Copenhagen summer arrived, and we had clear blue skies and calm water for the rolling classes.

While we were in Copenhagen the weather shifted and summer arrived. We had clear blue skies and calm water, which was perfect for the rolling classes.

Participants worked on lots of different types of rolls.

Participants worked on lots of different types of rolls.

Mark talks about strokes with the local kayaking club.

Mark talks about strokes with the local kayaking club.

We also worked with balance.

We also worked with balance.

Just one way to cool off on a beautiful summer day.

Just one way to cool off on a beautiful summer day.

We also played some towing games, which involved balance and singing.

We also played some towing games, which included balance and singing.

There were lots of smiles during the Instructor Development Workshop.

There were lots of smiles during the coach development workshop.

While we were in Copenhagen, we took the opportunity to go to the Natural History Museum and marvel at the incredible kayak display.

While we were in Copenhagen, we took the opportunity to go to the Natural History Museum of Denmark and marvel at their incredible Inuit display.

Traditional Greenland kayaks.

The traditional Greenland kayaks display is phenomenal.

This well decorated norsaq was one of many.

This well decorated norsaq was one of many.

Of course, there were harpoons as well.

Of course, there were harpoons as well.

And the paddles are fun to look at.

And lots of paddles.

After leaving Copenhagen, we made our way to Sweden for classes in Grebbestad, Stockholm and Mora.

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It was great to see Mats at the Kajak Center, located in Grebbestad.

In Grebbestad we had two days of Simplifying the Roll, and both days started with yoga.

Participants warmed up with Yoga for Paddlers before heading out onto the water for Simplifying the Roll.

A Balance Brace is born.

Throughout the two days in Grebbestad we worked on all types of rolls. Here a participant cools off with the Balance Brace.

A roll is born.

A roll is born.

Grebbestad is an absolutely gorgeous location and well worth a visit if you're on the west coast of Sweden.

Grebbestad is an absolutely gorgeous location and well worth a visit if you’re on the west coast of Sweden.

Johan Wirsen, owner of Rebel Kayaks, and Ann Hanbert stopped by for a visit.

Johan Wirsen, owner of Rebel Kayaks, and Ann Hanbert stopped by for a visit.

Happy rollers.

Happy rollers.

More happy rollers.

More happy rollers.

Johan plays around with his new kayak design, the Rebel Husky.

Johan plays around with his new kayak design, the Rebel Husky.

The day after classes, Mark, Johan, Ann and I went for a paddle in the archipelago.

The day after classes, Mark, Johan, Ann and I went for a paddle in the archipelago.

We found a nice island with a great view to land on.

We found a nice island with a great view to land on.

The combination of a great paddle, some tasty food, a warm rock and perfect weather created the ideal setting for an afternoon nap.

The combination of a relaxing paddle, tasty food, a warm rock and perfect weather created the ideal setting for an afternoon nap.

Grebbestad is known for its shellfish, and we enjoyed lots of it.

Grebbestad is known for its shellfish, and we enjoyed lots of it. The local beer wasn’t bad either.

After leaving Grebbestad, we made our way to Svima Sport in Stockholm for the Stockholm Sea Kayak Symposium. It was great to meet Shaun Rodgers of Sea Kayaking Cornwall, who was also there as an out of town instructor. Throughout the four day event I ran Yoga for Paddlers, Simplifying the Roll and a rolling class for instructors, while Mark and Shaun ran an ISKGA incident management class, along with several other local instructors. We also enjoyed an evening paddle around the island where Svima is located.

The ISKGA Incident Management class chatted in the shop before heading out onto the water.

The ISKGA incident management class chatted in the shop before heading out on the water.

Daniel, owner of Svima, was presented with his ISKGA Advanced Guide certification, an award that he's worked incredibly hard for.

Daniel, owner of Svima, was presented with his ISKGA Advanced Guide certificate, an award that he’s worked incredibly hard for.

We did Yoga for Paddlers before every rolling class.

We did Yoga for Paddlers before every rolling class.

Participants worked on lots of different types of rolls.

Participants worked on lots of different types of rolls.

It was fun to teach surrounded by the city of Stockholm.

It was fun to teach surrounded by the spectacular city of Stockholm.

Paatip kallua tuermillugu illuinnarmik (the shotgun roll) is born.

Paatip kallua tuermillugu illuinnarmik (the Shotgun Roll) is born.

Shaun looked uber cool in a tuilik and with a Greenland paddle.

Shaun looked uber cool in a tuilik and with a Greenland paddle.

The incident management class enjoyed some bumpier water and some great play spots.

The incident management class enjoyed some bumpy water and some great play spots.

The happy Incident Management class.

The happy incident management class.

We enjoyed a relaxing paddle around Stockholm.

Saturday evening we enjoyed a relaxing paddle around downtown Stockholm.

Daniel assured me that this tunnel was tall enough. He was right.

Daniel assured me that this tunnel was tall enough to pass through. He was right.

A gorgeous evening in Stockholm.

A gorgeous evening in Stockholm.

After the four days of classes, Mark and I decided to spend some time exploring the city. We enjoyed a cocktail at a bar made entirely of ice.

After the four days of classes, Mark and I spent some time exploring the city. We enjoyed a cocktail at a bar made entirely of ice.

We also went to Grona Lund, an amusement park in Stockholm. Here Mark enjoys optical illusions in the fun house.

We also went to Grona Lund, an amusement park in Stockholm. Here Mark plays with optical illusions in the fun house.

After a fun few days in Stockholm, we headed to Mora, a scenic town located on Lake Siljan, where we ran five sessions of Simplifying the Roll and two sessions of Yoga for Paddlers.

I ran Yoga for Paddlers two mornings.

Yoga for Paddlers.

Participants work on their rolls using the "Human Kayak Method."

Participants work on their rolls using the “Human Kayak Method.” Join us for a class to learn what that is :-)

Rolling, rolling, rolling.

Rolling, rolling, rolling.

Happy rollers.

Happy rollers.

Magnus kept everyone well fed (thanks Magnus)!

Magnus kept everyone well fed (thanks Magnus).

After three days of classes we stuck around for a couple of extra days to play.

After three days of classes we stuck around for a couple of extra days to play. Magnus had been organizing an art show that took place throughout the town. We enjoyed walking from one place to the next to see both the art and the charming town of Nusnas.

A lot of the art was located on boat houses along the water's edge.

A lot of the art was displayed on boat houses along the water’s edge.

The area is know for the Dala Horse, and we visited two Dala Horse factories to watch the horses being made.

The area is know for the wooden Dala horse, and we visited two Dala horse factories to watch the horses being made.

We watched the horses being hand painted in the factory.

This woman makes each horse unique by painting them by hand.

Part of the art show included watching fishermen use nets to attempt to catch a very special fish called VWVWV.

Part of the art show included watching fishermen use nets to attempt to catch a very special fish called the Blikta.

We also visited Orsa Gronklitt, a wonderful bear park.

We also visited Orsa Gronklitt, a wonderful bear park, where the bears seem happy, healthy and playful.

Another gorgeous bear.

Another gorgeous bear.

There were some tigers as well.

There were some tigers as well.

We ended our time in Mora by going on a shrimp cruise.

We ended our time in Mora by going on a shrimp cruise. It was fun to cruise the lake while eating large quantities of tasty shrimp.

The lake was a great place to enjoy a wonderful sunset.

The lake was a great place to enjoy a wonderful sunset.

Special thanks to Anders (Copenhagen), Mats (Grebbestad), Daniel (Stockholm), Magnus and Anders (Mora) for taking such good care of us!

Greenland or Bust’s July Newsletter

July News

MORE NORDIC TOUR ADVENTURES

We are writing this newsletter from a hot and sunny Sweden, although most of June was far from hot and sunny. Here in Scandinavia summer had a late start, but we took advantage of it and even had the opportunity to go hiking in the snow. Despite enjoying winter fun in June, it is nice to see the sun. We are now six weeks into this year’s Rebel Kayaks supported Nordic Tour, and having tons of fun.

Throughout June we ran a BCU 3 Star Sea Training and Assessment and Simplifying the Roll in Fitjar, The Art of Teaching Rolling in Bergen, Simplifying the Roll in Glesvaer, Simplifying the Stroke and Simplifying the Roll in Austevoll, Simplifying the Roll in Skudeneshavn and Simplifying the Roll in Stavanger. All of these locations are on the west coast of Norway, which is an incredibly scenic and friendly place. After all of that we hopped on a ferry to Denmark and made our way to one of our favorite cities, Copenhagen, to teach Simplifying the Roll, Complicating the Roll, a BCU 3 Star Sea Training and a couple of classes for the local kayaking club. While we were there the clouds parted, making room for intense sunshine and blue skies… and summer seems to have decided to emerge, at least for a few days.

Now we’re on our way to Grebbestad, Sweden, where we’ll be teaching two days of Simplifying the Roll this weekend. After that we’ll head to Stockholm, Mora, Nynashamn and Sandhamn, all in Sweden. In August we’ve got more classes in Sweden, then we’ll be back in Denmark before finishing the tour in Sweden. Click HERE for our complete 2015 Nordic Tour schedule.

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


Question: I recently learnt to do the Storm Roll, but it doesn’t always work. I can do the exercise where you lay the paddle perpendicular to the kayak, capsize and roll up. The “real” Storm Roll works mostly, but not always. One problem I have is that my left shoulder always hurts afterwards. I think I must be making some mistake, since I have the feeling I have to use a lot of force to pry up. A roll cannot be correct if a lot of force has to be applied. What could this be due to?

Answer: A good general rule is to keep your elbows bent. If an elbow is straight, you’ll put a lot of pressure on that shoulder. When recovering, rotate your shoulders so that your chest is perpendicular to the water. This will help you to use your “chest” as the “paddle,” thereby reducing the need for force from your arms. Make sure that you’re rotating your kayak with a firm lower leg. You might also want to check that your head is relaxed and forward during the recovery, which will also reduce the need for force from your arms.

Program Schedule

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 18 Skudeneshavn, 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

Simplifying the Roll September 5, Big Lagoon, California

Traditional Paddlers’ Gathering September 10 to 13, Lake Carlos State Park, Minnesota

Simplifying the Roll September 19 and 20, Whiskeytown, California

Simplifying the Rescue September 19, Whiskeytown, California

Private Rolling Classes during Mendo Madness September 25 to 27, Mendocino, California

Sea Kayaking Cornwall Symposium October 10 to 11, Cornwall, England

 …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

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

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

info@greenlandorbust.org

The Nordic Tour Continues

It’s hard to believe that we’re over a month into this year’s Rebel Kayaks supported Nordic Tour. Time definitely flies when you’re having fun! Since my last BLOG we’ve been on the west coast of Norway, running classes and playing.

Our time on the west coast started in Fitjar, where we ran a BCU 3 Star Sea training and assessment, Simplifying the Roll and did an evening presentation titled, “South Greenland Expedition & The Greenland National Kayaking Championship.”

Mark chats with 3 Star candidates.

Mark chats with 3 Star candidates.

Part of the 3 Star award deals with navigation.

Part of the 3 Star award deals with navigation.

Strong winds and offshore rocks created some nice play spots.

Strong winds and offshore rocks created some nice play spots.

Timing is key.

Timing is key.

Participants were given scenarios to find solutions to.

Participants were given scenarios to find solutions to.

Happy candidates.

Happy candidates.

We also ran a day of rolling, and participants worked on everything from first rolls to sculling rolls.

We also ran a day of rolling, and participants worked on everything from first rolls to sculling rolls.

A roll is born.

A roll is born.

Success!

Success!

After leaving Fitjar, we headed to Bergen. It was great to catch up with Ronny at God-Tur. If you’re in Norway, his store is well worth checking out.

We visited with Ronny at God-Tur.

Ronny.

We also visited the fish market for a tasty seafood fix.

We also visited the fish market for a tasty seafood fix.

In Bergen we ran "The Art of Teaching Rolling."

In Bergen we ran “The Art of Teaching Rolling.”

A happy group of instructors.

A happy group of instructors.

Then we made our way to Glesvaer for two days of rolling classes.

Participants chat on land before heading out into the water.

Participants chat on land before heading out into the water.

Glesvaer is a beautiful place to learn to roll.

Glesvaer is a beautiful place to learn to roll.

Happy rollers.

Happy rollers.

Next we made our way to Austevoll for Simplifying the Stroke and Simplifying the Roll.

Sunday started with Yoga for Paddlers.

Sunday started with Yoga for Paddlers.

Mark works with participants on strokes.

Mark works with participants on strokes.

Sigrun works on her forward stroke.

Sigrun works on her forward stroke.

Happy paddlers.

Happy paddlers.

We also ran Simplifying the Roll.

We also ran Simplifying the Roll.

The location was absolutely stunning.

The location was absolutely stunning.

While we were on Austevoll we met up with our friend Ingeborg and walked out to view the Marstein Lighthouse.

While we were on Austevoll we met up with our friend Ingeborg and walked out to view the Marstein Lighthouse.

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Ingeborg let me play with her excavator and a big pile of gravel.

We had a couple of days off before our next teaching day, so we made the spontaneous decision to head to the mountain town of Odda.

The sleepy town of Odda.

The sleepy town of Odda.

We decided to hike down up the trail toward Trolltunga. Thick, melting snow prevented us from completing the 22 kilometer hike, but we still had a wonderful day in the mountains.

We decided to hike the trail toward Trolltunga. Thick, melting snow prevented us from completing the 22 kilometer hike, but we still had a wonderful day in the mountains.

Bright snow and clear blue skies created a nice contrast.

Bright snow and clear blue skies created a nice contrast.

The melting snow made crossing snow bridges tricky.

The melting snow made crossing snow bridges tricky.

Fresh drinking water wasn't hard to come by. No filtration needed.

Fresh drinking water wasn’t hard to come by. No filtration needed.

On our way out of Odda, we stopped to enjoy several roadside waterfalls.

On our way out of Odda, we stopped to enjoy several roadside waterfalls.

Next we made our way to the charming town Skudeneshavn for an evening Simplifying the Roll class.

We started the class with a little Yoga for Paddlers.

We started the class with a little Yoga for Paddlers.

Then we headed into the water for some rolling instruction.

Then we headed into the water for some rolling instruction.

Body position is key.

Body position is key.

More happy rollers.

More happy rollers.

The following day we explored the town. We had coffee and a pancake at Ve, which translates to

The following day we explored the town. We enjoyed coffee and pancakes at Verdens Minste Kafe, which translates to “The World’s Smallest Cafe.”

We also browsed in some of the shops. Mark tried on some hats.

We also browsed in some of the shops. Mark tried on some hats.

Next we headed to Stavanger, our last teaching venue on the west coast of Norway.

Participants worked on the Balance Brace.

Participants worked on the Balance Brace before moving on to other rolls.

Another Balance Brace is born.

Another Balance Brace is born.

Torstein was stoked on learning to roll his surf kayak.

Torstein was stoked on learning to roll his surf kayak.

Another happy roller.

Another happy roller.

Rore grabs a quick bite between his rolling class and a surf ski race.

Rore grabs a quick bite between his rolling class and a surf ski race.

Erik tried out a surf ski.

Erik tried out a surf ski.

More happy rollers.

More happy rollers.

And still more.

And still more.

Special thanks to Geir Ingolf, Trond, Lillian, Dirk and Kalle for taking such good care of us!

Greenland or Bust’s June Newsletter

June NewsNORDIC TOUR ADVENTURES

We are writing this newsletter from Oslo, Norway, where we’re into the second week of our Nordic Tour. It’s hard to believe that the first tour took place six years ago! At that time, the tour was three weeks long. Over the years it has grown to over three months. We’re very thankful to Johan Wirsen and Rebel Kayaks for sponsoring the tour for the second year in a row and providing us with kayaks. Helen is in the Ilaga, and Mark is in a brand new design, the Husky.

At the beginning of May, Helen was enjoying the warmth of the tropics at the Paddle Marathon Laguna Bacalar 2015, which took place in Bacalar, Mexico. After that she headed to the warmth of the Mokelumne River in Lodi, California to teach three Simplifying the Roll classes and one Simplifying the Rescue class. Meanwhile, Mark was in Pembrokeshire, Wales, running a BCU 4 Star Sea Training week, as well as a BCU 3 Star Sea Training and then a couple of BCU 4 Star Sea Trainings on Anglesey, Wales. The Nordic Tour started on May 23 in Asker, Norway, and as mentioned, we’re now at our second stop, in Oslo, Norway.

We’ll be in Norway for most of June. Today is our last day of classes in Oslo, and tomorrow we’ll start to make our way to the west coast, for classes in Fitjar, Bergen, Bekkjarvik and Stavanger. At the end of June we’ll head to Copenhagen, Denmark, for classes there. Along the way we’ll be doing some hiking, paddling and exploring. Norway is a beautiful place to be if you like the outdoors. Click HERE for our complete 2015 Nordic Tour schedule.

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

TTPP

In April’s Newsletter, we talked about the ‘technical’ element of the BCU’s TTPP model and the part it plays in developing a paddler’s performance.

This month we focus on a kayaker’s use of tactical strategies can help achieve a successful outcome. To recap, this element represents how we apply our technical skills in any given context through our understanding of timing, angle, edge, trim, speed, cadence, use of water features…and so on.

As paddlers, developing effective tactics to ensure success in our given environment is important. We might be able to demonstrate technically correct skills, but without considering the tactical element there is no guarantee of a good performance.

For example, we may be technically able to edge our kayak, but if we edge the wrong way when entering an eddy we are likely to capsize.

Completing a successful manouvre therefore requires the use of tactics which come from developing judgement, decision-making processes and the appropriate application of our skills in the chosen environment.

In order to master tactical decision-making and develop good paddling judgement / strategies then we need to actively think about where we are paddling to; which waves to ride; what line to take; how we shape our course; and ways to deal with environmental factors such as swell, surf and current.

Once we are able to combine our Technical ability with Tactical application, we can focus on the Psychological and Physiological aspects of our performance. More on that next time.

Program Schedule

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 18 Skudeneshavn, 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

Simplifying the Roll September 5, Big Lagoon, California

Traditional Paddlers’ Gathering September 10 to 13, Lake Carlos State Park, Minnesota

Simplifying the Roll September 19 and 20, Whiskeytown, California

Simplifying the Rescue September 19, Whiskeytown, California

Private Rolling Classes during Mendo Madness September 25 to 27, Mendocino, California

 …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

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

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

info@greenlandorbust.org

 

The start of this year’s Nordic Tour

It’s hard to believe that this is the sixth summer that I’ve spent in Scandinavia. Time flies! When the Tour first started, it lasted three weeks, which I thought was long at the time. However, over the years it has grown to be over three months long, and we’re thrilled to be back!

We arrived in Sweden on May 21 and met up with our Nordic Tour sponsors, Johan Wirsen, owner of Rebel Kayaks and Janusz Ko of Aquarius Kayaks. I’ll be using the Rebel Ilaga throughout the tour, and Mark will be testing Johan’s new design, the Rebel Husky.

From left, Johan, Mark, myself and Janusz.

From left, Johan, Mark, myself and Janusz.

After catching up with Johan (which is always lots of fun) we headed to Asker, Norway, the first stop on this year’s tour. We were greeted by friendly people and a calm sea.

A gorgeous day to head out onto the water.

A gorgeous day to head out onto the water.

Asker's kayak club gave us a warm welcome (notice the flags).

Asker’s kayak club gave us a warm welcome (notice the flags). We started the day with Yoga for Paddlers.

Throughout the two days we taught two full-day sessions of Simplifying the Roll.

Throughout the two days we taught two full-day sessions of Simplifying the Roll.

It was wonderful to work with people on all types of rolls.

It was wonderful to work with people on everything from first rolls to sculling rolls.

Happy rollers.

Happy rollers.

After two days of classes we had the opportunity to explore the surrounding area.

We spent an entire day exploring the Fram Museum and the Natural History Museum.

We spent an entire day exploring the Fram Museum and the Natural History Museum.

The museums were both educational and fun.

The museums were both educational and fun.

We spent a night VWVWV.

We spent a night in Rognstranda Geopark, which felt like we were at the end of the world.

The following day we went to Verdens Ende, which translates to "the end of the world."

The following day we went to Verdens Ende, which really does mean “the end of the world.”

A lighthouse at Verdens Ende.

A replica of a Vippefyr, an early type of lighthouse at Verdens Ende.

Mark and I paddled to another lighthouse, this one was located seven kilometers offshore.

Mark and I paddled to another lighthouse, this one was located seven kilometers offshore.

It was a windy day, but the journey to the lighthouse and back was spectacular.

It was a windy day, but the journey to the lighthouse and back was spectacular.

After exploring for a couple of days, we made our way to Oslo to run more classes.

Participants "simplify" their rolls.

Participants “simplify” their rolls.

In Oslo we ran three sessions of Yoga for Paddlers, two Simplifying the Roll classes and one session of "The Art of Teaching Rolling" (shown here).

In Oslo we ran three sessions of Yoga for Paddlers, two Simplifying the Roll classes and one session of “The Art of Teaching Rolling” (shown here).

More happy rollers.

More happy rollers.

And still more...

And still more…

After three wonderful days in Oslo, we slowly made our way to the west coast. Norway is having a particularly cold June, and many roads were blocked by snow. Despite avoiding the snow as much as possible, we still got to enjoy some, even on the lower crossings.

We enjoyed a scenic drive to the west coast.

We enjoyed a scenic drive to the west coast.

Despite being beautiful, I was glad that we weren't teaching rolling in this lake.

Despite being beautiful, I was glad that we weren’t teaching rolling in this lake.

Special thanks to Jan, Joan, Einar and Inge for taking such good care of us in Asker and Oslo!

Photos by Mark and Helen.

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

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.

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

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

info@greenlandorbust.org

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