Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Review of 2012



Here is an animated review of our year, featuring work and travels across the globe. Thank you to everyone who has played a part in Greenland or Bust's success in 2012. 

Happy paddles and we look forward to seeing you on the water in 2013.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Greenland Or Bust UK Courses


Please note the following courses that have been scheduled to run in the UK during November.

For more details, you should access each link.

Date: November 10, 2012.

Description: BCU 3* Sea Assessment

Location: Anglesey, North Wales

Date: November 11, 2012

Description: Simplifying the Roll With Helen Wilson & Mark Tozer

Location: Anglesey, North Wales

Date: November 17 and 18, 2012 (TBC)


Location: Lee Valley White Water Centre, Hertfordshire

Date: November 24 and 25, 2012

Description: Kayak Immersion Weekend With Helen Wilson & Mark Tozer

Location: Anglesey, North Wales

Contact: For more information or to register e-mail Mark. Many thanks :-)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Historical Rolling Footage


Please take time to read David H. Johnston's well researched blog article (linked here) on the expeditionary and rolling exploits of Gino Watkins and his associates on the east coast of Greenland. David maintains a excellent, resource rich website called Paddling Instructor.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Recommended Reading


In the early 1700s an Inuk paddling a traditional Greenland kayak landed, alone and exhausted, on a beach near Aberdeen and died three days later. His kayak and hunting gear can still be seen today in the local Anthropological Museum. The idea that a man could have made the journey from Greenland to the north-east coast of Scotland with a tiny boat made from skin, bone and driftwood is difficult to comprehend, but it did happen.

Norman Rogers spent most of his spare time in the practical art of kayaking. However, when his passion for paddling small boats was interrupted by an unexplained illness, he set out to investigate the Aberdeen mystery and, as is often the case, one mystery led to another – he discovered that around the same time as the Inuk landed in Aberdeen, individuals in kayaks, described locally as “Finmen”, were seen around the coasts of the Orkney Islands.

Searching for the Finmen describes Norman’s researches into the history and culture of the Inuit, with particular reference to their mastery of the sea by means of the kayak, and his attempts to understand and resolve his medical condition and to resume kayaking. It also describes other outside influences which were key factors in explaining how a group of Inuit hunters from what was effectively a stone-age culture crossed the North Atlantic only two centuries after Columbus.

Please contact Norman Rogers directly should you wish to obtain a copy of his excellent book - www.searchingforthefinmen.co.uk

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kokatat Supports Project Sea Otter


The fate of the early sea otter and Aleut populations are intrinsically linked. Before contact with Europeans it is estimated that there were 25,000 Aleuts, today there are about 2,000. Similarly the sea otter population is believed to have undergone a decline exceeding 50% over the past 30 years.

Kokatat ambassador Keirron Tastagh, and his long-term student and paddling partner George Shaw have embarked on a 1,500 mile expedition through the Aleutian Islands to investigate the current status of the sea otter population in the area.


“Our expedition is inspired by the Aleutians rich culture and kayaking heritage,” said Tastagh. “The journey will not only paint a picture of the current sea otter population, but will also provide a better understanding of ‘The Aleut Story’.”

Working with the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Tastagh and Shaw will be recording the presence or absence of sea otters in bays, and noting killer whale position as well as taking photographs for identification for marine biologists’ live projects. Killer whale attacks are suspected to be leading cause for the decline of the Northern Sea Otter in the Aleutians, which is listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


Setting out from Unalaska, Tastagh and Shaw, who both train and live on the Isle of Man, UK, will paddle unsupported. They will carry all their kit and freeze dried meals on-board and will supplement their diet with fresh fish. Along the way they will encounter challenges such as katabatic winds, large tidal ranges, open crossings, sea fog, landing zones and the unpredictable and stormy Bering Sea.

Tastagh and Shaw plan to “explore as far as necessary to reach the conclusions we require” which could be as far as the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula.


Kokatat has supplied theteam with various gear for their expedition:
Ronin Pro PFD plus Tributary
GORE-TEX® Anorak

For additional information on the Sea Otter project visit their website and follow the expedition on their Blog.


For more information on this and other Kokatat sponsored expeditions visit http://www.kokatat.com/expeditions.



About Kokatat Watersports Wear

Celebrating over 40 years of innovation, Kokatat is an independently operated, US manufacturer of technical apparel and accessories for water sports. Handcrafted in Arcata, California, Kokatat employees are focused on building the finest functional product for people who work and play on water. Our gear is designed for paddlers, by paddlers, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience on the water all year long and in all weather conditions.

As always, Kokatat continues to support experienced paddlers attempting first descents and expeditions. The company proudly provides the athletes with the best paddling gear in the whitewater industry.

Please visit www.kokatat.com and follow Kokatat on Twitter “@kokatat” 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kokatat Salutes Sarah Outen



British adventurer and Kokatat supported athlete, Sarah Outen (26) is preparing to set off on her record-breaking solo row across the North Pacific Ocean, from Choshi, Japan to Vancouver, Canada. Upon landing in Vancouver, Outen will be the first woman to row across the North Pacific Ocean.

Outen delayed her departure last week due to an impending gale and is hoping to depart in the next week, weather depending. Once on the water, Outen will spend between 150 and 200 days alone out at sea during the 4,500 nautical mile journey. Only two men have previously rowed solo across this northern route from Japan to North America.


Outen will be 100% self-sufficient with all the food necessary for the journey stocked on her 6.75m customized rowing boat, Gulliver. An on-board desalination machine, will convert seawater into drinking water and a full suite of communications equipment, charged by on-board solar panels, will allow her to conduct interviews, post blogs and tweet while on the ocean.

This North Pacific row is part of Outen’s wider, two and half year expedition, “London2London: Via the World” in which Outen will row, cycle, and kayak in a continuous loop around the planet, covering more than 20,000 miles.

“The North Pacific will be the most gruelling part of my whole London2London expedition,” said Outen. “Physically and mentally, I expect to be exhausted most of the time – the distance, the solitude, the weather conditions and my complete isolation will make it hugely challenging. In spite of the challenges and dangers ahead, I still can’t wait to get out there.”


On 1st April, 2011, Outen began her London2London expedition. From London’s Tower Bridge in her kayak, Nelson, she travelled down the Thames and across the English Channel to France. From there she cycled over 10,000 miles on her bicycle, Hercules, through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, China and into Russia’s wild Far East.

Outen then used Nelson and Hercules to paddle and cycle her way over 1,000 miles to Japan via the remote island of Sakhalin. 

Once Outen has completed the trans-pacific segment, she will cycle 3,000 miles from Vancouver to Nova Scotia. For the final major leg, Outen will row nearly 3,000 nautical miles to the UK across the North Atlantic Ocean.


Kokatat has provided Outen with its award winning gear that is relied on by some of the world’s most renowned adventures including:

• Women's GORE-TEX® Expedition Dry Suit
• Women's Polartec® Power Dry® Liner
• GORE-TEX® TecTOUR Anorak
• Guide PFD
• Tributary Hydration System 
• Nomad Bootie

Outen is sharing her stories along the way through her website and social media to hopefully inspire young people to follow their dreams and believe that anything is possible. She is also hoping to raise £100,000 for her four chosen charities – CoppaFeel!, The Jubilee Sailing Trust, MNDA and WaterAid.

For more information on Outen’s and other Kokatat sponsored expeditions visit www.kokatat.com/expeditions .




About Kokatat Watersports Wear

Celebrating over 40 years of innovation, Kokatat is an independently operated, US manufacturer of technical apparel and accessories for water sports. Handcrafted in Arcata, California, Kokatat employees are focused on building the finest functional product for people who work and play on water. Our gear is designed for paddlers, by paddlers, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience on the water all year long and in all weather conditions.

As always, Kokatat continues to support experienced paddlers attempting first descents and expeditions. The company proudly provides the athletes with the best paddling gear in the whitewater industry.

Please visit www.kokatat.com and follow Kokatat on Twitter “@kokatat” 

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Kokatat Sponsors North Pole Expedition


In 1895, Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen abandoned his plan to reach the North Pole by ship and headed for the pole by dog sled. Nansen didn’t make it to the pole, but his journey and safe return became one of the poles most epic tales.

Nansen’s plan had he reached the North Pole was to head for Spitsbergen, the only permanently populated island of the Svalbard archipelago in Norway. Arctic adventures Audun Tholfsen and Timo Palo just embarked on attempting this return route using Kokatat GORE-TEX® Expedition dry suits while navigating sections of open water and treacherous ice flows.


After being air dropped at the geographical North Pole, Tholfsen and Palo will use skis and kayaks to cross the drifting ice floes and open water on their way to Spitsbergen. They will then continue across the fjords and mountains towards the south of the island until they reach Longyearbyen, the largest settlement in Spitsbergen. The expedition team hopes to complete the expedition, unsupported and without resupplies, in 50 to 60 days.

Throughout the way the team will take in-situ measurements and will carry out scientific observations. With a light set of instruments they will regularly measure the snow and ice thickness and surface layer air temperature data and drift speed of local ice floes.


In 1893, Nansen embarked on a daring plan of sailing his ship, the Fram, into the Arctic icepack and using the natural drift of the polar ice to reach the North Pole. After several months in the icepack, Nansen calculated that it might take over five years for the Fram to reach the Pole and Nansen devised a new plan.

On the 14th of March 1895, Nansen and dog sled expert and ship stoker Hjalmar Johansen left the icebound Fram and set out on skis and sleds with kayaks and 28 dogs for the North Pole. After reaching a record mark of latitude 86°14 ′ North on April 7th, they abandoned the attempt and retreated southwards, eventually reaching the island Franz Josef Land later that year.


With some good fortune in June of 1896 they met up with an English expedition team and were reunited with the Fram that had emerged from the ice pack north-west of Spitsbergen, as Nansen had predicted. However, the ship never made it beyond 85° 57' North.

Norwegian Tholfsen and Estonian Palo have skied across Greenland and completed several mountain ski expeditions in Svalbard and Norway. The team spent ten months as crewmembers on Tara, a French sailing vessel that, similar to the Fram, froze into the Arctic pack ice and drifted across the entire Arctic Ocean. Currently, Tholfsen works to provide logistic solutions and field support in Arctic regions. Palo has been working in Spitsbergen providing logistics and field support, and currently works as a PhD student and field technician at the University of Tartu, studying polar meteorology.


To learn more about Tholfsen and Palo and their expedition visit www.arcticreturntour.com.


About Kokatat Watersports Wear

Celebrating over 40 years of innovation, Kokatat is an independently operated, US manufacturer of technical apparel and accessories for water sports. Handcrafted in Arcata, California, Kokatat employees are focused on building the finest functional product for people who work and play on water. Our gear is designed for paddlers, by paddlers, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience on the water all year long and in all weather conditions.

As always, Kokatat continues to support experienced paddlers attempting first descents and expeditions. The company proudly provides the athletes with the best paddling gear in the whitewater industry.

Please visit www.kokatat.com and follow Kokatat on Twitter “@kokatat” 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Upcoming Events and Programs for March and April


Upcoming Events and Programs for March and April

BCU 3 Star Sea Training: March 3 to 4, Trinidad, California

Simplifying the Roll: March 10, Big Lagoon, California

Simplifying the Rescue: March 11, Big Lagoon, California

Combat Rolling: March 24, Crescent City, California

Intermediate Boat Handling: March 25, Crescent City, California

BCU Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning: March 31, Arcata, California

BCU 3 Star Sea Assessment: April 1, Trinidad, California

ENC Stone Lagoon Full Moon Paddle: April 7, Stone Lagoon, California

Charleston Skills Classes: April 14 and 15, Charleston, Oregon

Bay Area Paddlefest: April 21 to 22, Fremont, California

Our attendance at other symposiums and upcoming classes for the year can be found on the events page at www.greenlandorbust.org

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Upcoming Events and Programs in February

Our attendance at other symposiums and upcoming classes for the year can be found on the events page at www.greenlandorbust.org.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium 2012


For those of you thinking of attending, Helen will be running Greenland skills development classes during this years Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium. Mark will be running three BCU programs - 4* Sea Assessment, 4* Sea Training and Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning. Visit the Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium website, for updates and availability. Looking forward to see you there!

Our attendance at other symposiums and our own upcoming classes can be found on the events page at www.greenlandorbust.org.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sea Kayaking the Redwood Coast by Explore North Coast


This book is a sea kayaker’s resource for exploring the California redwood coast and includes thirty-five routes in Humboldt and Del Norte counties. Designed for beginner to expert paddlers, this guide provides detailed directions to launch areas, descriptions of routes, facilities, potential hazards, informative sidebars and detailed maps.

Available for purchase at: www.greenlandorbust.org.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


Our mission at Greenland or Bust is to promote kayaking using both traditional and contemporary skills. Quality presentations, instruction, rolling demonstrations and BCU certification programs are provided worldwide. Helen Wilson is internationally known for her rolling and traditional skills instruction, while Mark Tozer is equally recognized for holding the highest BCU credentials possible. 

Our website, www.greenlandorbust.org, includes an active blog, a question and answer section and an online store, which features the DVD "Simplifying the Roll with Helen Wilson".