‘Helen’s Blog’

Calling all paddlers – FREE BEER and FREE DVDs at Storm Gathering USA

The biggest challenge about writing a blog is getting people to read it, and FREE BEER at Storm Gathering USA and a FREE DVD might be the way… If you’re a paddler, we want to convince you why you should come to Trinidad, California for Storm Gathering USA, and if you’ll stick with me for a few minutes, I think that we might just be able to do that…

Trinidad, California

Trinidad, California

I began sea kayaking several years ago in Trinidad, California with a group of paddlers from the local club, Explore North Coast. The Club organizes paddles that are always tons of fun to attend. Through the Club I met “The Paddle Pals,” a group of like minded kayakers that meet every Sunday morning for what we call “Sunday Services.” For years I’d look forward to Sunday, with each week bringing new adventures. I remember launching one Sunday and paddling to the front of Trinidad Head to sit in the 28 foot swell. The swell would lift us to incredible heights, and at the top, a strong gust of wind that was generated from the swell itself would blow over us, causing our chests to lift as we inhaled deeply before dropping down into the trough. I remember thinking how that deep inhale filled my body with so much energy that I felt like I was going to explode. It was that same day we watched porpoises dancing in the powerful swell under a double rainbow. Other days we’ve been followed by whales, Stellar Sea Lions, California Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, River Otters, Harbor Porpoises, and once, a great white shark. The ocean is an incredible being, and Trinidad is where I fell in love with it.

Trinidad has the option of a harbor launch that allows paddlers to get into very large swell without having to negotiate a surf zone.

Trinidad has the option of a harbor launch that allows paddlers to get into very large swell without having to negotiate a surf zone.

When Mark and I became, well, Mark and I, he also became a part of my business, Greenland or Bust, and I began working with him on organizing the UK Storm Gathering Symposiums, which began in Mull, Scotland in 2006. I have been co-organizing that event with Mark since 2011. I remember the first time Mark and I paddled in Trinidad together, I told him that I thought that it was an ideal location to run a sea kayaking symposium, and he agreed. Time went on, and we began loosely organizing. About a year ago we took the plunge and decided to do it. Storm Gathering USA takes place from March 6 to 8, 2015.

"Smack Wall" is a popular feature among locals.

“Smack Wall” is a popular feature among locals.

The biggest challenge for running a symposium in this location, is that it is five hours away from the nearest major city. This means that people need to travel to get here, but we guarantee that it’s worth it. Trinidad is located in the coastal redwood forest of Humboldt County, which is home to the tallest trees on the planet. Standing under them is magical and an experience that you won’t forget, and paddling next to them is an adventure that few kayakers have had. If you’re coming from out of the area, consider bringing your non-kayaking family, because they’ll have just as much fun off the water as you do on the water. We’re a five hour drive north of San Francisco and an eight hour drive south of Portland. There is an airport 10 minutes from the event (Arcata/Eureka – airport code ACV) with United flights coming in and out several times a day. If you get to the airport, we can help get you to the event. P&H will be on site with kayaks to rent, and you can choose how much you want to spend on accommodation, from a cheap campsite, to affordable cabins, to The Lost Whale Inn – a FANTASTIC B&B that is a pricier option, but well worth the money if you want to splurge.

Being on land isn't so bad either.

Walking amongst the redwoods is magical.

The event is staged out of The Emerald Forest in Trinidad. The Emerald Forest has cabins, campsites and RV sites, as well as the “Celebration Hall,” a rustic community room with a warm wood fireplace and a kitchen.

Rough Water Boat Handling is just one of many open water classes.

Rough Water Boat Handling is just one of many open water classes.

There are many fantastic instructors out there, and narrowing it down to just a few was tough. The group that we came up with are all highly qualified paddlers and coaches, but more importantly they’re wonderful people who always put their students at the top of the learning experience. We have asked each coach what they want to teach, which means that when you take a class with them, you know it’s something that they not only excel in, but love teaching as well.

Three levels of rock gardening classes are also offered.

Three levels of rock gardening classes are offered.

The classes we’re offering are designed for three levels of paddlers; advanced-beginner, intermediate and advanced-intermediate/advanced. Participants are asked when they register to assess their skill level and pick the classes that are right for them. Among those classes, we’re offering various rock gardening, surf, rolling and paddling technique classes, but we’re also offering specialty classes, such as Kayak Sailing and Fun with Foster. We’re handling registration a little differently than you may be used to, as we’re asking people to pick their classes, and then we’re setting the schedule. This way, if lots of people want to take the same class, we can offer multiple sessions of it at the same time. Classes with designated instructors, such as Simplifying the Roll with Helen Wilson and Fun with Foster, clearly have limited availability however.

Simplifying the Roll and Combat Rolling are also offered.

Simplifying the Roll and Combat Rolling are also offered.

There will be presentations at Trinidad Town Hall on both Friday and Saturday night, with Friday night being a report from one of our coach’s recent expeditions (more details soon) and Saturday night being an entertaining evening hosted by Ben Lawry. There will also be an auction with GREAT prizes from the event’s sponsors… and FREE BEER, also provided by sponsors.

Dinner is included in our “Option 1″ registration packet, and although we’re still figuring out the menu, dinners will be catered by one of our local businesses.

The coaching staff.

The coaching staff.

Gift certificates for registration (of any amount) are available. Please contact us at info@greenlandorbust.org for more information.

Visitors to the area are often surprised by the abundant wildlife. Here a whale makes an appearance.

Visitors to the area are often surprised by the abundant wildlife. Here a whale makes an appearance.

All this said, are you thinking of coming? If so, drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you and are happy to answer any questions… And a little incentive to register early. If you register from now until Christmas you’ll receive a FREE DVD (a $29.95 value), either Simplifying the Roll with Helen Wilson or Yoga for Outdoor People. Of course, if you’ve already registered you’ll receive one as well. That’s our way of saying THANK YOU for registering early. We can’t wait to welcome you to our playground.

Here’s the website again: www.stormgatheringusa.wordpress.com.

We hope to see you in March!

We hope to see you in March!

Jamaica Circumnavigation Attempt

mp_Jamaica-BlI love the cold; the crunch of snow under my boots, the crisp clean air that leaves your nose tingling and the wonky smiles of snowmen. I even love the clothes that you get to wear in cold places; snuggly sweaters, fleece pajamas and hats… anyone who knows me knows that I love hats, especially bulky knitted ones. Cold climates are awesome, but occasionally you just need to warm up…

It was a cold afternoon in Wales and Mark and I had just gotten off the water. We were cold, and the gas fire and hot chocolate just wasn’t doing the trick. There was a map of the world in front of us and my eyes fell to Jamaica. I questioned Mark about why we never paddle in warm climates and neither of us knew. It was then that we decided to circumnavigate Jamaica.

Oddly enough things started to fall into place immediately. That week I met a woman who knew another woman, who I also knew, who had the contact information for a kayaker in Jamaica, and in no time at all we were talking, planning and making it happen. This was over a year ago, and on Sunday, Dec. 28 we fly there. We’ll begin paddling on Tuesday, Dec. 30.

The team consists of three of us, myself, Mark Tozer and Wes Moses. We’ll start and finish in the historic Port Royal and paddle counterclockwise. As far as we know, we will be the first people to attempt this circumnavigation, which totals 635 miles. As far as speed, there will be long days and there will be longer days, but we’re not trying to set a speed record. Instead we’re planning to enjoy the water, the sun and the Jamaican scenery as we paddle around a place that Mark and I have only ever seen in pictures. We plan to finish by the end of January.

As for gear, we’ll all be using gear provided specifically for the expedition by Kokatat, Snap Dragon Design, Barz Optics and WindPaddle Sails. I’ll also be using gear provided by the following sponsors: Outdoor Research, Gath Helmets and Joe O’ Paddles. Mark and Wes will be using paddles provided by Celtic Paddles (which is awesome, but I’m going to stick with my GP :-)

Canoe & Kayak Magazine will be posting updates as we go.

For those of you spending the winter in a cold environment, please tell it “hello,” and throw a snowball or two for me. Wherever you’re spending the winter, enjoy it!

Greenland or Bust’s December Newsletter

December News

STORM GATHERING USA • FIRST TIME CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF JAMAICA

Here at Greenland or Bust, we are incredibly excited about the coming year. First off, registration for Storm Gathering USA starts on Monday! This three-day event is based off the other event that we organize, the UK Storm Gathering. The website is up and running, with complete event information, including coaches, sponsors and the schedule. Check it out, and ask us if you have any questions.

Another major thing that’s coming up is our attempt to circumnavigation Jamaica. We fly there on Dec 28, meet up with Wes Moses and spend the next few weeks paddling around the place. Special thanks to our awesome sponsors for supporting the expedition! Helen will be using gear provided by Kokatat,  Snap Dragon,  Barz OpticsWindPaddle SailsOutdoor Research and Joe O’ Paddles. Mark and Wes will be using gear provided by Kokatat, Snap Dragon, Barz Optics, WindPaddle Sails and Celtic Paddles.

In other news, we are putting together our 2015 Rebel Kayaks sponsored Nordic Tour. We have confirmed classes scheduled in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The tour will be from May 23 to August 30. The complete schedule will be posted in early next year.

We are also guiding an expedition in Antarctica from December 31, 2015 to January 27/28, 2016. Wanna go with us? E-mail us at info@greenlandorbust.org for details.

Storm Gathering USA, planning Jamaica and setting up the Nordic Tour have kept us really busy throughout November, although we did have time for a few other activities. Helen led a Traditional Skills Paddle, a surf and crabbing session and did a presentation titled “South Greenland Expedition and the Greenland National Kayaking Championship” for our local kayaking club, Explore North Coast. Mark ran two Canoe Wales ‘Coaching Matters’ programs – “Who’s Leading Who” and “Overcoming Anxiety With Action,” as well as BCU 4 Star courses on Anglesey, Wales.

In December, we have Simplifying the Roll classes taking place in Dana Point and Marina Del Rey. We’ll also be spending some time catching up with family before heading to Jamaica!

We hope that you have a fantastic Holiday season. Don’t forget to register for Storm Gathering USA on Monday. That’s one water based party you don’t want to miss.

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, e-mail info@greenlandorbust.org.

Happy paddling!

Helen and Mark

Dr. T’s Coaching Corner

Paddling performance is said to be influenced by the interaction of technical, tactical, physiological and psychological factors (TTPP).

This ‘TTPP components model’ (BCU, 2006) can be used to structure long-term practice and help individuals identify which dimension(s) may need further development in order to achieve optimal performance on the water.

Technical represents the individual skill that, when executed well, forms the technical template of ‘best practice’ for a stroke.

Tactical represents how we apply those skills in any given environment through our understanding of timing, angle, edge, trim, speed, cadence, use of water features… and so on.

Physiological represents a paddler’s endurance, flexibility, strength, ability to hydrate and balance nutritional needs.

Psychological represents our ability to overcome anxiety, manage arousal, determine self-belief / confidence and motivational reasoning.

Being able to assess obstacles within each factor can help us adopt the right tools and tactics, such as goal setting, variation of practice, strength endurance use of imagery and self talk to help us achieve the greatest gains in overall performance.

Future newsletters will highlights some of the strategies we can use to develop each domain. Stay tuned!

Program Schedule

Simplifying the Roll: December 13, Dana Point, California

Simplifying the Roll: December 20, Marina Del Rey, California

Jamaica Circumnavigation Attempt: December 28, Jamaica

Storm Gathering USA: March 6 to 8, Trinidad, California

Simplifying the Roll: March 28, Anglesey, Wales

Combat Rolling: March 29, Anglesey, Wales

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

Anglesey Adventure Week: April 6 to 10, Anglesey, Wales

Simplifying the Roll: April 11, Anglesey, Wales

Combat Rolling: April 12, Anglesey, Wales

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

 …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 Good Store.

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Copyright © 2014 Greenland or Bust, All rights reserved.

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

info@greenlandorbust.org

Greenland or Bust’s Newsletter

November News

FIRST TIME CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF JAMAICA • STORM GATHERING USA

Here at Greenland or Bust, November is often one of the busiest months of the year. Although we’re home, and it may appear that we’re not actually working, we’re really busy making plans for the coming year, and there are LOTS of exciting things on the schedule.

First off we’re super stoked to be attempting a first time circumnavigation of Jamaica with Wes Moses. The three of us will launch on Sunday, Dec. 28 and paddle through most of January. We’re looking forward to lots of water time, as well as just enjoying Jamaica.

Another exciting thing on the schedule is the Storm Gathering U.S.A. event taking place out of Trinidad, California on March 6 to 8. We’re the organizers of the UK Storm Gathering, which has become increasingly popular since it began in Scotland in 2006. The UK Storm Gathering takes place every other year, and so we figured, “what the heck, let’s run an event in the U.S. the years in between.” We’ll have more information posted soon, but we can tell you that registration opens on Monday, Dec. 1. Come join us, there’s a storm brewing…

In other works, we’ll be doing another Rebel Kayaks sponsored Nordic Tour. We currently have classes confirmed in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The tour will take place during the summer months, with a break in the middle to travel to Sisimiut, Greenland to participate in the 30 year anniversary of the Greenland National Kayaking Championship. The complete tour schedule will be posted in early 2015.

We’re also guiding an expedition in Antarctica from December 31, 2015 to January 27/28, 2016. Wanna go with us? E-mail us at info@greenlandorbust.org for details.

With all of this exciting stuff coming up, it’s nice to take a step back to reflect on the past month. Helen headed up to Pacific City, Oregon to teach at Lumpy Waters. This is a really great event, and Paul, Suzi and Dave do a wonderful job of putting it all together. If you haven’t made it to this one yet, it should be on your list for next year. Helen also hopped over to Israel to teach at Optimist’s Symposium. This was her fifth year at the event, and it was great to catch up with the paddling community from that part of the world. Israel is an incredible place with friendly people, warm water, unbelievable city ruins and quite possibly Helen’s favorite food on the planet.

While Helen was doing all of this, Mark was running a BCU 4 Star Sea Training and BCU 4 Star Sea Assessment on Anglesey in Wales, as well as providing some regional coach development programs for Canoe Wales. He was also one of the guest coaches at the DGI’s Autumn Coach Conference in Holbæk, Denmark.

Coming up in November Helen will be presenting in Eureka, California on South Greenland Expedition and The Greenland National Kayaking Championship. Other than that we’re spending the month working on putting together all of the exciting things that are planned for the coming year.

In December we’ll be leading a trip out of Crescent City, California, then heading south to run classes in Dana Point and Marina Del Rey. We’re looking forward to spending part of the holidays with family and then flying over to Jamaica to meet up with Wes and paddle around the place.

With so much going on, it’s hard not to get excited. Don’t forget to put our Storm Gathering USA event on your calendar!

As usual, visit www.greenlandorbust.org for more information and our current Events calendar and Blog postings.

You can also find us on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

For questions, comments or to schedule us in your neighborhood, email info@greenlandorbust.org. Happy paddling!

- Helen and Mark

Helen’s Mentoring Madness

Most kayakers live close to one or more bodies of water, and many of us get into the routine of paddling out of the same spot, time after time. Depending on weather and water conditions, that same spot might change personalities frequently, which is why we don’t get bored with paddling the same paddle over and over again.

However, don’t let yourself miss out on other great opportunities. Often where there’s water, there are numerous launch sites, or even numerous bodies of water. While an ocean can provide an open water experience, a lagoon can be a secret haven, a bay on a windy day might provide a downwind adrenaline rush and a river might provide wildlife encounters that you wouldn’t have in saltier waters. Whatever the body of water, there are adventures out there, and if you can’t find them locally, then a road trip with friends might calling to you…

Program Schedule

Traditional Skills Paddle (ENC): November 1, Stone Lagoon, California

Who’s Leading Who?: November 1, Llyn Padarn, North Wales

South Greenland Expedition and The Greenland National Kayaking Championship (presentation):

November 10, Eureka, California

ENC Crescent City Paddle: December 7, Crescent City, California

Simplifying the Roll: December 13, Dana Point, California

Simplifying the Roll: December 20, Marina Del Rey, California

Jamaica Circumnavigation Attempt: December 28, Jamaica

…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 Good Store.

============================================================

Copyright © 2014 Greenland or Bust, All rights reserved.

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

info@greenlandorbust.org

ISRAEL!!! – Optimist’s Symposium

I love Israel. There’s simply no other way to put it. This was my fifth year traveling to Israel for Optimist’s Symposium, and once again it was an absolute blast.

Each morning I ran Yoga for Paddlers before everyone met at the Club to separate into classes.

Yoga for Paddlers took place each morning of the four-day event.

Ehud and Ben catch up before classes begin.

Ehud and Ben catch up before classes begin.

It's a real treat to run rolling classes in such warm, clear water. No hoods needed!

It’s a real treat to run rolling classes in the warm, clear water of the Mediterranean Sea. No hoods needed!

My rolling class demonstrates correct hand position while we take a break on a stunning reef.

My rolling class demonstrates correct hand position while we take a break on a stunning reef.

Another great spot to take a break, right next to the ruins of the old city in Caesarea.

Another great spot to take a break, right next to the ruins of the old city in Caesarea.

After lunch we did some indoor strokes work before putting it into practice on the sea.

After lunch we did some indoor stroke work before putting it into practice on the sea.

Meanwhile, other guest coaches Ben Lawry and Ali Donald had classes of their own.

Meanwhile, other guest coaches, Ben Lawry and Ali Donald, had classes of their own.

It's hard not to be mesmerized by the picture perfect beach.

It’s hard not to be mesmerized by the picture perfect beach.

It's always great to see Hadas. Ben isn't so bad either.

It’s always great to see Hadas. Ben isn’t so bad either.

After classes in was nice to take the time to stroll along the beach before getting ready for evening activities, which always included socializing, laughing and some of the best food on the planet :-)

After classes in was nice to take the time to stroll along the beach before getting ready for evening activities, which always included socializing, laughing and some of the best food on the planet :-)

Sunsets were stunning too.

Sunsets were stunning too.

The old town in Caesarea.

The old city in Caesarea.

After the symposium we headed to Jerusalem to explore the old city and marketplace. The Western Wall is an amazing place with an incredible energy surrounding it.

After the symposium we headed to Jerusalem to explore the old city and marketplace. The Western Wall is an amazing place with an incredible energy surrounding it.

Now I’m back home and feeling relaxed after a wonderful trip. Special thanks to the organizers, Ehud, Avigail, Yosale and Hadas for once again having me at your event. I’m looking forward to seeing you all again soon in the near future.

Photos by Zohar Navon and myself.

Lumpy Waters

“We want Lumpy, we want Lumpy, we want Lumpy…” This group chant has become very familiar at the Lumpy Waters Symposium, which took place in Pacific City, Oregon last weekend. This was my second year coaching at the event, and I had an absolute blast.

The event started mid-day Friday, and I showed up a couple of hours early. Sea kayaking symposia usually feel like a big family reunion, and it was great to spend some time catching up with old friends and making new ones before classes began.

The Fun-Balance-Games competes in a singing competition.

The Fun-Balance-Games class competes in a singing competition.

Throughout the weekend I ran three sessions of Simplifying the Roll and one session of Fun-Balance-Games. It was great to work with coaches from all over the country, and fantastic to see so many repeat and new participants.

There were races as well.

There were races as well.

Taking balance to another level.

Taking balance to another level.

There were some very creative thinkers in this class.

There were some very creative thinkers in this class.

The social aspect of Lumpy Waters is one of the things that makes it special. Event sponsors, Thule and Kokatat, provided the beer, and Werner provided some REALLY nice stainless steel pint glasses to enjoy the tasty beverages out of. The campfire was always running strong, and evening social activities included presentations by Matt Nelson and Nick Cunliffe, as well as the legendary “Pub Quiz,” which is difficult to describe… guess you’ll have to go next year to experience it for yourself.

Thank you to Paul Kuthe, Suzi Elle and Dave Slover who all do an amazing job of putting this symposium together. You all rock!

Greenland or Bust’s October Newsletter

October News
LUMPY WATERS • HARPOONS • CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF JAMAICA

Here in Northern California, Autumn is often the prettiest time of year. Foggy summer days are replaced by clear skies, and when not paddling, days can be spent at apple harvest festivals, corn mazes and pumpkin patches. In addition to all of this, the selection of fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets couldn’t be bigger. This is our favorite season, and we’re just at the beginning of it!

Although “summer” is officially over, our schedule remains full for the rest of the year. It has been nice to spend some time at home though, catching up with friends, and when the ocean permits, exploring new places.

September started with Mark’s return to the UK and Helen’s return to the U.S. for the Traditional Paddlers’ Gathering in Minnesota. This event is great for many reasons, some of which include the wonderful people, the ideal location and a really fun harpoon contest. Harpoons are not common at symposia, but they really should be :-)

Helen spent another part of the month paddling and fishing with friends in Mendocino and Humboldt counties (both in Northern California). She also ran private rolling classes during the Bay Area Sea Kayakers’ Mendo Madness event, which takes place in Mendocino, California. Mark ran two introduction to sea kayaking programs, Simplifying the Roll and a combat rolling class, along with catching up with friends on and off the water in North Wales after the long summer.

In October Helen will be instructing at Lumpy Waters in Pacific City, Oregon, Big Lagoon in California and at the Optimist Kayaking’s Symposium in Israel. Mark will be working on a number of BCU classes, including a BCU 4 Star Sea Assessment and 4 Star Sea Training, as a well as providing some regional coach development programmes for Canoe Wales. Mark will also be one of the guest coaches at the DGI’s Autumn Coach Conference in Holbæk, Denmark. Later this year we have classes scheduled in the U.S. and Mexico.

In December we’ll be meeting up with Wes Moses, and the three of us will attempt to circumnavigate Jamaica, the largest island of the Commonwealth Caribbean. To our knowledge, we will be the first people to attempt this circumnavigation. We plan to finish in late January.

Interested in joining us for an expedition? How about paddling near penguins and icebergs? Our Antarctic expedition dates are set for December 31, 2015 to January 27/28, 2016. Our next Greenland expedition is set for summer 2016. For more information on either of these expeditions, email info@greenlandorbust.org.

As usual, visit www.greenlandorbust.org for more information and our current Events calendar and Blog postings.

You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

For questions, comments or to schedule us in your neighborhood, email info@greenlandorbust.org. Happy paddling!

- Helen and Mark

Dr. T’s Coaching Corner

This month we highlight some educational thinking about practice and achieving a high-level of domain specific expertise.

According to K. Ander Erricsson* and his colleagues, becoming an expert within a given field of endeavour is a combination of deliberate practice that is challenging yet methodical, which in turn is supported by insightful, critical coaching.

Deliberate practice is seen as being about improving the skills you already have and learning how to extend the range as well as the reach of your skills.

Added to that, achieving an outstanding performance in any activity can be enhanced by being in a collaborative and supportive environment that includes like-minded individuals who can provide specific and constructive feedback.

The published work of Benjamin Bloom** in 1985 reports that the superb performers he investigated had practiced intensively, had studied with devoted teachers and had been supported enthusiastically by their families. Erricsson’s research, building on Bloom’s pioneering study, reveals that the amount and quality of deliberate practice are also key factors in the level of expertise people achieve.

Whichever way you look at it, being the best within a single pursuit requires a lot of time, sacrifice and hard work which, as is often the case, few people are willing to dedicate so much of their lives to.

However, if you do want to be a more skillful and knowledgeable paddler then spend time with a well-informed coach who will not only guide you through a process of deliberate practice that focuses on tasks beyond your current level of competence and comfort but will also to help you learn how to coach yourself through processes of reflection, critical thinking and goal setting.

*K. Anders Ericsson (ericsson@psy.fsu.edu) is the Conradi Eminent Scholar of Psychology at Florida State University, in Tallahassee.

**Benjamin Bloom (1913 – 1999) was an American educational psychologist who made contributions to the classification of educational objectives and to the theory of mastery-learning.

Program Schedule

Lumpy Waters: October 10 to 12, Pacific City, Oregon

Simplifying the Roll: October 18, Big Lagoon, California

The Fundamentals of Leadership: October 22, North Wales

Optimist Kayaking’s Symposium: October 23 to 26, Israel

Overcoming Anxiety with Action: October 29, Anglesey Outdoors, North Wales

Traditional Skills Paddle (ENC): November 1, Stone Lagoon, California

Who’s Leading Who? November 1, Llyn Padarn, North Wales

Qajaq Immersion Weekend: November 15 and 16, Bacalar, Mexico

Kayak Immersion Day: November 17, Bacalar, Mexico

ENC Crescent City Paddle: December 6, Crescent City, California

Simplifying the Roll: December 13, Dana Point, California

Simplifying the Roll: December 20, Marina Del Rey, California

Jamaica Circumnavigation Attempt: December 28, Jamaica

…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 Good Store.

============================================================

Copyright © 2014 Greenland or Bust, All rights reserved.

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

info@greenlandorbust.org

A weekend in home waters

At home, in Humboldt County, it’s always possible to go paddling. Trinidad harbor provides a gentle launch, and even on a really big day (20 feet or larger), it’s possible to get out into the swell and “ride the elevator” as we like to call it. Mark and I had been traveling for four months, and my first weekend home I was excited about catching up with friends and spending some time on our local waters, no matter what the conditions.

It was good to be back in time for the Humboldt Bay Paddlefest, and I rode my bike to the event, enjoying the sunshine and the smells of the redwood forest that Humboldt County is known for. Compared to other events that I’ve been to, this one is tiny, but I like that, because it meant that I could go booth to booth and catch up with everyone.

Michael Morris does a paddle carving demo.

Michael Morris does a paddle carving demo.

It was great to catch up with Jeff and Shannon from Kokatat (which we're lucky enough to have as a local company).

It was great to catch up with Jeff and Shannon from Kokatat (which we’re lucky enough to have as a local business).

Gotta love the guys (and gals) at Adventure's Edge, my favorite local store.

It was also great to hang out at the Adventure’s Edge booth. If you ever visit Arcata or Eureka, make sure you stop in and visit this store… bring your wallet, they have LOTS of great stuff.

Mind's Eye Manufactory was also there, with a gorgeous model of a baidarka on display.

Mind’s Eye Manufactory was also there, with a gorgeous model of a baidarka on display.

The Pride Festival also came by.

The Pride Festival also made an appearance, adding a festive feel to the day.

Although I opted to stay on land for most of the day, the following day Michael Morris and I decided to take advantage of the unusually calm sea state and head south to paddle some unknown territory.

The calm seas made it a great day to explore an area that is usually very difficult to access.

The calm seas made it a great day to explore an area that is usually very difficult to access.

There were some stunning features to paddle around.

There were some stunning features to paddle around.

One of the great things about paddling a new area is finding all of the hidden treasures.

One of the great things about paddling in a new area is finding all of the hidden treasures.

This part of the coast has areas with very few places to land.

This part of the coast has areas with very few places to land.

There were lots of archways to maneuver through.

There were lots of archways to maneuver through.

A great place to munch on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

A great place to stop for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich break.

Gotta love those tunnels.

Gotta love those tunnels.

On the way back we saw some river otters (if you look really close, you can see their heads poking out of the water).

On the way back we saw some river otters (if you look really close, you can see their heads poking out of the water in the distance).

While we were out we started talking about what a great day it was for fishing. Fishing season in this area is closed, and we didn’t have our fishing gear with us anyway, but we decided to head to Trinidad the following day to see if anything was biting.

The next morning we opted to launch through the surf and head north, instead of taking the longer route from the harbor, around the head and then heading north. Trinidad has a tricky surf beach, even on the flattest of days, and maneuvering our way through the numerous breaks woke us up pretty quick.

Michael's got something.

Michael’s got something.

One ling cod and three black rock fish later, we decided to call it a day.

One ling cod and three black rockfish later, we decided to call it a day.

We enjoyed a nice paddle back to Trinidad Head.

We enjoyed a nice paddle back to Trinidad Head, just as the breeze started to pick up.

Pictures by Michael Morris and myself.

The Gathering

This was my fifth year as a mentor at the Northern Lights Qajaq Society’s yearly event, The Gathering. I love this event for many reasons. First, the people are wonderful. Second, the location is perfect. And third, the event has a harpoon contest that is so much fun that it’s worth going just for that alone.

This year’s guest mentors were myself and Greg Stamer. All of the local mentors were wonderful to work with and made us feel very welcome, and it was great to catch up.

Throughout the four-day event, I instructed an informal rolling class, two Simplifying the Roll classes, a skin-on-frame rescue class and The Art of Teaching rolling. I also ran Yoga for Paddlers three mornings, and did a presentation called “South Greenland Expedition and the Greenland National Kayaking Championship.” Greg provided strokes instruction, and I had the opportunity to join in his Sunday morning class, which was very informative. He was the Friday night presenter, with a fun slideshow on his Newfoundland circumnavigation and some races that he’s been competing in. In addition to what we were teaching, other mentors were teaching everything from how to throw a harpoon, to on-land classes on qajaq construction.

The people are what really make this event special, and Michelle, Jeff and Tony did a wonderful job of putting it all together. Thanks for having me there again.

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At the beginning of an event it’s always fun to watch the kayaks appear.

There were some very pretty qajaqs and baidarkas at the event.

There were some very pretty qajaqs and baidarkas at the event.

We had the perfect weather for rolling instruction. Note the harpoon thrower in the background.

We had the perfect weather for rolling instruction. Note the harpoon thrower in the background.

Greg's classes included both on-land and on-water instruction.

Greg’s strokes classes included both on-land and on-water instruction.

Nick talks about his kayak design, the Shrike.

Nick talks about his kayak design, the Shrike.

Yoga for Paddlers is a great way to start the day.

Yoga for Paddlers is a great way to start the day.

Organizers Michelle and Jeff take a time out for lunch.

Organizers Michelle and Jeff take a time out for lunch.

There are many ways to entice participants to buy raffle tickets.

There are many ways to entice participants to buy raffle tickets.

Harpoon contest winners receive awards.

The harpoon contest awards ceremony was very entertaining.

Last year's harpoon winner hands presents this year's harpoon winner with his award. Congrats Kirt!

Last year’s harpoon winner presents this year’s harpoon winner with his award. Congrats Kirt!

Participants enjoy an evening of entertainment, which included a lively silent auction.

Participants enjoyed an evening of entertainment, which included a lively silent auction.

Enjoying the sunrise each morning was well worth getting up early for.

Enjoying the sunrise each morning was well worth getting up early for.

The end of this year’s Nordic Tour

After leaving Denmark, Mark and I made our way back to Sweden for the last few stops on this year’s Nordic Tour. Our first stop back in Sweden was in Malmo, where we were running classes for Kanotföreningen Öresund. I taught two sessions of Simplifying the Roll, while Mark taught two sessions of paddling technique. Special thanks to Anders for taking such good care of us.

Anders talks to enthusiastic participants about the plan for the day.

Anders briefs participants about the plan for the day.

Mark demonstrates a sculling draw.

Mark demonstrates how to move sideways.

The technique class headed out of the harbor to play in the wind.

The technique class headed out of the harbor to play in the wind.

Happy paddlers.

Happy paddlers.

After leaving Malmo, we headed to Karlshamn for two Simplifying the Roll classes. Goran and Veronica of KajakSyd are wonderful, and it was great to catch up with them while enjoying the warmth of the crystal clear lake.

A gorgeous day to be on (and in) the water.

A gorgeous day to be on (and in) the water.

Happy rollers.

Happy rollers.

A Balance Brace is born.

A Balance Brace is born.

Participants worked on many different types of rolls throughout the day.

Participants worked on many different types of rolls throughout the day.

After a wonderful day in Karlshamn, we made our way to Borgholm to visit with Johan Wirsen, owner of Rebel Kayaks. Johan not only sponsored the tour, but he’s also a good friend of ours. It was nice to relax on Öland, the beautiful island where he lives, and catch up with him for a few days.

The island of Öland has many beautiful beaches.

The island of Öland has many beautiful beaches.

It also has a very rich history, and ruins and ancient graves can be found throughout the island.

It also has a very rich history, and ruins and ancient graves can be found throughout the island.

Johan took us out for a fantastic day on the water on his hand built wooden sailboat.

Johan took us out for a fantastic day on the water on his hand built wooden sailboat.

Mark and Johan enjoying the afternoon, which produced a perfect amount of wind for a day on the sailboat.

Mark and Johan enjoying the afternoon, which provided a perfect amount of wind for a day on the sailboat.

After saying goodbye to Johan for the year, we headed to Sandhamn, an island off the coast of Stockholm, for our final three days of classes for Sandhamns Kajakskola. Mark taught two mornings of navigation, while I taught an afternoon session of Simplifying the Roll and another afternoon session of Simplifying the Rescue. On our final day on the island we ran a BCU 3 Star Sea Assessment and a Level 2 ACA Assessment. Thanks to John and Måns for hosting us.

Charts, charts and more charts.

Charts, charts and more charts.

Måns works on a norsaq roll.

Måns works on a norsaq roll.

Rescues can be done in many ways.

Rescues can be done in many ways.

Water over rocks can provide some interesting features.

Water over rocks can provide some interesting features.

Self rescues were part of assessment day.

Self rescues were part of assessment day.

A gorgeous end to this year's tour. Thank you to everyone that organized classes, hosted us or participated in classes. And special thanks to Rebel Kayaks for sponsoring the tour. We hope to see you all next year!

A gorgeous end to this year’s tour. Thank you to everyone that organized classes, hosted us and/or participated in classes. And special thanks to Rebel Kayaks for sponsoring the tour. Until next year…

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