Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sea Kayakers of The Caribbean



Jamaica is a land rich in culture, history, music and, of course, it’s known for the rum too. With a population of nearly three million, the island is the largest English speaking country in the Caribbean and the third largest in the Western Hemisphere, excluding the United States and Canada. It gained its independence from the British in 1962. The native inhabitants of this beautiful island are believed to be the Arawaks, also called Tainos. They came from South America 2,500 years ago along the Caribbean archipelago and aptly named the island Xaymaca, meaning “land of wood and water.”

In January 2015, the sea kayaking team of Wes Moses, Helen Wilson and Mark Tozer will attempt the first complete known circumnavigation of this historic and popular Caribbean island. The expedition will provide the team with the opportunity to experience both the grandeur and nature of Jamaica while facing the challenge of completing the journey within 30 days of setting off.


Jamaica is replete with verdant hills, majestic mountains, crystalline rivers and white beaches edging onto a turquoise sea. In Jamaica, nature intertwines effortlessly with bustling towns and sleepy villages, with a coastline stretching for nearly 650 miles. From the Blue Mountains made famous by the coffee that bears its name to Pedro Bank, one of the world’s largest suppliers of queen conch, the country’s natural heritage is its most valuable resource.

The island is home to a highly influential music industry which produced such legends such as Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, whose socially conscious music has served as the soundtrack to various sociopolitical movements on the island and the world at large. Jamaicans dominate the sprinting world in track and field with the recent greats of Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Yohan Blake, Aleen Bailey, Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Bridgette Hilton-Foster, Nesta Carter and Michael Frater.


Jamaica is also the birthplace of Rastafari – an Afro-Caribbean spiritual and political movement that came into existence in the 1930s, based on the teachings of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jamaica’s first national hero, and is widely popular across the globe. “We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind. Mind is your only ruler, sovereign. The man who is not able to develop and use his mind is bound to be the slave of the other man who uses his mind” - Marcus Garvey

The expedition team will navigate a coastline that is full of contrasts. The shores on the northeast have been severely eroded by the ocean. There will be many small inlets, but no coastal plains to speak of. The southern coast is lined with black sand beaches, which are backed by limestone cliffs. In some places the cliffs drop 900 feet straight to the sea. The north coast is reported to contain the island's finest beaches and hotels, and the team will negotiate suitable campsites along the way.


Being a tropical climate, the team is expecting to experience high temperatures and humid weather, which will play a key part in their paddling and planning logistics. One consideration will be the need to launch early in the morning before the trade winds begin to blow and create more intensified conditions on the water. The intended voyage has been scheduled to avoid hurricane season, but the weather will be what it is in January, and the team will deal with it accordingly.

Dengue fever, Chikungunya virus and Leptospirosis present health risks to travellers in Jamaica, as well as possible tropical infections like Leishmaniasis, so the team will be taking necessary precautions, such as using mosquito nets and insect repellant, as well as sourcing clean water on a daily basis. Jamaica has eight native snake species, though none of them are venomous. If they are lucky, the trio might get to see the crocodiles that live in the mangrove swamps or the manatees that populate the water on the south coast. There is a chance that they will come across a variety of marine life such as barracudas, stingrays and sharks.


As for gear, the team will be using gear provided specifically for the expedition by Kokatat, Snap Dragon Design, Barz Optics and WindPaddle Sails. Helen 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.

As anyone can imagine there are variety of reasons within the team for engaging in this expedition. However, they all see this attempt to sea kayak around Jamaica as being more than just about physical endurance. It will be about opening up new horizons and keeping our natural spirit of exploration alive. Like many such adventures, this expedition offers a great opportunity to explore a dramatically beautiful and sometimes wild location.


For expedition updates and team news while the journey is underway, follow the expedition's blog: www.greenlandorbust.org


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Storm Gathering USA: Directions


Are you wondering how to get to Trinidad in Humboldt County, CA for our Storm Gathering USA symposium in March, 2105? Then maybe this information will help you with planning :-)

Trinidad is located in the coastal redwood forest of Humboldt County, which is home to the tallest trees on the planet. If you are coming from out of the area then consider bringing your non-kayaking family, as 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.

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.

TRAVELING BY AIR
The Arcata/Eureka airport (ACV) is about a 10-minute drive from Trinidad and is served by United Express. If you're flying in and need to rent a kayak, please indicate that on your registration form.

Taxi service and airport shuttle service are also available at the airport. Please let us know if you have any questions regarding logistics.

TRAVELING BY BUS
Greyhound and Amtrak Bus Lines and Redwood Transit serve the Arcata/Eureka area.

Distances to Trinidad in miles:

• Crescent City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84
• Fort Bragg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134
• Grants Pass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .166
• Los Angeles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 647
• Medford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196
• Portland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 414
• Redding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 150
• Reno . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 347
• Sacramento . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . 309
• San Diego . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . 766
• San Francisco . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . 278
• San Jose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .316
• Seattle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 587


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Storm Gathering USA: Step-By-Step Registration Process


Photo Credit: Helen Wilson Collection.

Storm Gathering USA Website

Step 1: Read through the booking conditions on the registration information page and make sure that you understand them. Look over the website categories to make sure you have an overview of the symposium.

Step 2: Read through the self-assessment criteria and decide which level best describes you. Feel free to ask us if you are unsure where to place yourself, or seek advice from a friend or coach who knows you.

Step 3: Look at the classes that are on offer in March, and decide which you’d like to attend.

Step 4: Look at the accommodation options, and think about where you will stay. The price of the ticket does not include lodging. We are happy to make further recommendations.

Step 5: Make sure to consult your physician to ensure that you are in good enough health to participate in potentially strenuous water activities.

Step 6: Registration begins on Monday, Dec. 1. Complete your booking form, making sure to complete all of the required fields at EventBrite - Storm Gathering USA.

Please answer all questions to the best of your ability. If you wish to pay by check, money order or require an invoice, write to us directly and we can assist you with these options.

Step 7: Read over the confirmation email and check for any errors on your ticket. Contact us with any questions. Once we have a general idea of the classes participants wish to attend, we will allocate the right coaches and build the best schedule for everyone.

Step 8: After that, get out and keep active until we see you in March.

The main Storm Gathering USA website can be found here.

Contact us if you have any questions, queries or want more information about the event.

The Storm Gathering USA Team.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Storm Gathering USA: Booking Conditions & Payment Methods



Photo Credit: Damon Maguire.

Storm Gathering USA takes place from March 6 to 8, 2105 in Trinidad, California.

Storm Gathering USA Website

We will be using EventBrite to manage bookings. If you wish to pay by check or require an invoice, write to us directly and we can assist you with these options.

Registration opened on December 1 and closes on February 23. If maximum numbers are reached before February 23, then registration will close sooner.

This event is not suitable for minors, unless accompanied by an adult family member.

ALL classes are subject to weather and sea conditions. We reserve the right to make changes to venues, schedules, instructors and/or students at any time. We will not be providing refunds due to weather or sea conditions. We will work to provide safe venues despite the weather. By signing up you are accepting the risks with full knowledge that we cannot guarantee safe sea conditions for all classes.

Booking Conditions:

1. The symposium fee includes access to all Storm Gathering USA workshops, presentations and social events.

2. The symposium fee does not include accommodation, transport or equipment. It does not include classes that take place outside of the main symposium timeframe.

3. A place in the symposium can not be considered booked until a completed submission via Eventbrite and payment of all fees due have been received by the event organizers.

Payment:

1. Bookings and on-line payment should go through Eventbrite: Storm Gathering USA.

2. Checks and/or money orders should be made payable to: Greenland or Bust and mailed to: Greenland or Bust, PO Box 4183, Arcata, CA 95518, U.S.A. Please include your phone number on all checks and/or money orders.

Cancellation by Participants:

1. All cancellations must be submitted in writing to the event organizers.

2. Cancellations must be made in writing 14 days prior to the event. You will receive a refund minus a $25 administration fee.

3. Cancellations made less than 14 days before the event may be liable to a loss of fees paid unless the symposium organizers are able to fill that place with a new participant. If the place is filled, you will receive a refund minus a $25 administration fee.

4. Non-attendance will incur the loss of total fees paid.

Cancellation by the Storm Gathering USA Team:

1. Whilst every attempt will be made to ensure that all planned classes and journeys actually run, the event organizers reserve the right to cancel a class at any time where numbers fail to reach a workable minimum or where conditions are not suitable for the required level of participation. As much notice as possible will be given, and participants will be offered a revised class option(s), including indoor activities.

2. The event organizers will not be liable for payments made to other service providers such as for travel, equipment hire and/or accommodation.

The main Storm Gathering USA website can be found here.

Contact us if you have any questions, queries or want more information about the event.

The Storm Gathering USA Team

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Storm Gathering USA: Class Descriptions


Photo Credit: Mark Tozer Collection.

Storm Gathering USA Website

Important Reading:


  • To ensure your safety and that of your fellow paddlers, please read through the self-assessment criteria before making your class choices.
  • Possible venues include Trinidad State Beach, Trinidad Harbor, Moonstone Beach, Big Lagoon County Park and Humboldt Bay. Actual venues will be determined by the prevailing weather and marine forecasts during weekend.
  • When purchasing a full event ticket (option one & option two), you are registering to participate in four classes during the symposium
  • Please pick your first four class choices, and list them in the priority that you wish to take them. That is, the class that you’d like to take the most, list first.
  • The Storm Gathering USA Team will do their best to give you your first choices. To help us, in case of class cancellations or maximum numbers reached, please provide four additional choices (total of eight).
  • We will consider your learning progression while scheduling the classes. However, there will need to be some flexibility as to which session you take which class.
  • ALL classes are subject to weather and sea conditions. We reserve the right to make changes to venues, schedules, instructors and students at any time.
  • The Storm Gathering USA Team will not provide refunds due to weather or sea conditions. We will work to provide alternate classes and safe venues as appropriate.
  • By signing up you are accepting the risks with full knowledge that we cannot guarantee safe sea conditions for all classes.

All Levels

Effective Forward Paddling

This stripped-down, back-to-basics, paddling essentials session with coach-led analysis of your performance, will focus on how to generate efficient forward boat speed. If you are looking to get more miles for less effort in stormy conditions, or are hoping to ready yourself for greater challenges, this is the class for you. The class will include a number of on-water activities to improve performance.

Developing Boat Control

The aim of this class is to look at the principles of active posture, balance and connection to develop more fluid boat control skills. The focus of this session is improving bracing, maneuvering and directional control through stroke analysis and dynamic coaching activities. The goal is to enable you to become a more efficient paddler, whatever the conditions.

Fun with Foster

Description coming soon!

Simplifying the Roll

This is a multi-level class. Topics that can be covered include first rolls, other-side rolls, layback paddle rolls, forward finish paddle rolls, norsaq rolls, hand rolls and beyond. The techniques examined can be used with any type of paddle and any type of kayak.

Kayak Sailing

Seen as safety features in Australia where the modern kayak sail was developed, sails provide auxiliary power and increased visibility. Sailing develops an understanding of wind and helps with mastering slicing strokes. It’s also a ton of fun. Learn to raise and lower the sail, stow it efficiently and use it to sail across the wind, paddle-sail up to 45-degrees upwind and, of course, fly downwind. Catching wind-waves suddenly becomes easy. Practice a roll with a sail, and learn to modify a quick capsize recovery. The Flat Earth Kayak Sails used for this class are authentic Australian sails which freely permit all paddle strokes, edging and performance paddling. The sail folds flush on the deck when not in use. Suction-cup-mounted sails are available to attach to your fiberglass deck.

Level 1 - 2

Surf Zone Fundamentals

This class takes participants into a gentle surf zone where they will learn fundamental surf zone skills. Participants will develop confidence while learning to read the water. This class is about comfort, safety and understanding the dynamics of the surf zone, it is not about learning to “surf,” although that may be covered as well.

Storm Paddling Essentials

This class will give participants a safe and enjoyable introduction to storm paddling with the emphasis on essential kayak skills to develop boat confidence and abilities. Participants will be introduced to a range of boat handling techniques for use in wind and swell.

Fundamentals of Rock Gardening

This class is for those new to rock gardening. You’ll learn essential rock gardening skills, such as timing waves and swell, reading water and safely playing around rocks, tunnels and/or caves.

Core Rescue Skills

Performing a deep-water rescue at sea does not have to be a complex task. The aim of this class is to enable participants to come away with a clear understanding of the key principles involved when performing a rescue. Participants will explore a range of common scenarios and be shown straightforward strategies that can be practiced with confidence. Both self and assisted rescues will be covered.

The Fundamentals of Sea Kayak Leadership

This class will focus on the fundamental of leadership needed by sea kayakers who want to take responsibility for others in easy and moderate sea conditions. Participants will journey along a suitable stretch of coastline, exploring the principles of planning/anticipation, communication/group management, route choice and positioning.

Ocean Journey

This class will cover the essentials needed when planning a coastal sea kayak journey. Participants will go for a journey in a sheltered coastal location. By the end of the class participants will understand the planning and considerations that should be done before day tripping on the ocean.

Level 2 - 3

Long Boat Surfing

Participants will learn how to safely catch and ride a wave in a sea kayak. The aim is to draw upon the knowledge and expertise of respected coaches who will enhance the participants understanding of surf skills.

Short Boat Surfing

Participants will learn how to safely catch and ride a wave in a short boat. The aim is to draw upon the knowledge and expertise of respected coaches who will enhance the participants understanding of surf skills.i

Moderate Water Boat Handling

This session will have participants paddling with confidence and efficiency in moderate water conditions. Participants will learn how to turn with accuracy and control using their boat to its full potential. The session will take a progressive approach, building upon established skills while exploring the ocean coastline.

Whitewater of the Sea

In this class participants will use whitewater kayaks to find features and work on water reading, finesse and timing to play, play, play. Participants will learn to move their boat more efficiently, work with the water and maybe even get creative with some fancy moves. A reliable roll is required.

Intermediate Rock Gardening

This class is for those who have previous experience rock gardening and would like to take things up a notch. The class will take place in rock gardens that are more exposed to swell and waves, have tighter turns, more obstacles and longer pourovers than the Fundamentals of Rock Gardening class. Previous rock garden experience is required.

Combat Rolling

This class is for those with a “pool” or “flat water” roll who want to try using it in a more dynamic setting. The class will take place in a gentle surf zone, where participants will become more comfortable rolling in both surf and with obstacles that are often present in a “combat” situation (such as sand or rocks).

Incident Management

This class is designed to cover skills and procedures that will help participants develop a step-by-step approach to handle potential incidents on the ocean while under pressure. As an active group, participants will be faced with a number of challenging scenarios. The aim of the program is to decrease the chances of these incidents from occurring and increase each individual’s ability to deal with them safely using clear operating principles.

Practical Leadership & Group Dynamics

The goal of this class is to share thoughts, experiences and elements of leadership theory in a practical, interactive way, which will enable intermediate and advanced sea kayakers to become more aware of the role they play in group paddling dynamics. The class will use boat based activities and/or scenarios which will help participants to take on an effective leadership role.

Sea Journey 

If you are planning to leave the coastline behind and head out for the distant blue horizon, or if you are looking for top tips and techniques to fine-tune your open ocean planning skills, then this class is for you. Participants will receive advice and practical training to help them to prepare for their own offshore adventures in the future.

Level 3

Tricky Launch, Tricky Landing

This class will look at launching and landing in tricky surf zones. This class is not about surfing, but instead it covers reading a tricky launch or landing site and the techniques to get you through the surf zone effectively. Please note that this is an advanced-level class that takes place in a tricky (but safe) surf zone. Participants must have previous experience in surf and a reliable roll.

Rough Water Boat Handling

This class is for intermediate and advanced paddlers who want to master the skills needed to maneuver a sea kayak efficiently in rough water and challenging conditions. Participants will develop confident boat control using swell and waves. They will paddle the most exposed parts of the coast, actively searching out “adventure.” Strong seamanship skills, solid paddling ability and a desire to get a bit out of your comfort zone are a must.

Rock Garden Safety and Rescue

In this class participants will learn how to safely maneuver through tricky rock gardens, caves and/or tunnels that are directly exposed to swell and/or waves. Scenarios will be presented that the group will come up with solutions for. Please note that this is an advanced-level class and requires previous rock garden experience and a dependable roll.

The main Storm Gathering USA website can be found here.

Contact us if you have any questions, queries or want more information about the event.

The Storm Gathering USA Team.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Storm Gathering USA: Event Schedule


Photo Credit: Mark Tozer Collection.

Storm Gathering USA Website

Following is the schedule for Storm Gathering USA, taking place from March 6 to 8, 2015.

The SGS USA Team reserves the right to alter the schedule as appropriate and within reason depending on the prevailing weather, marine forecast and other circumstances.

Friday


10:30 a.m. Check in Begins at Emerald Forest (continental breakfast/lunch will be available for ticket holders)

12 p.m. Welcome and Announcements at Emerald Forest

1 p.m. Session One Begins (various locations)

4:30 p.m. Session One Ends

6 p.m. Happy Hour at Trinidad Town Hall

7 p.m. Dinner for ticket holders at Trinidad Town Hall

8 p.m. Presentation at Trinidad Town Hall


Saturday


7 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. Outdoor Yoga for Paddlers at Emerald Forest (weather dependent)

8 a.m. Breakfast for ticket holders, and receive packed lunch at Emerald Forest

9 a.m. Morning Gathering and Announcements at Emerald Forest

9:30 a.m. Session Two Begins (various locations)

12.30 p.m. Session Two Ends

Lunch Break

1:30 p.m. Session Three Begins (various locations)

4:30 p.m. Session Three Ends

6 p.m. Happy Hour at Trinidad Town Hall

7 p.m. Dinner for ticket holders at Trinidad Town Hall

8 p.m. Presentation at Trinidad Town Hall

Sunday

7 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. Outdoor Yoga for Paddlers at Emerald Forest (weather dependent)

8 a.m. Breakfast for ticket holders, and receive packed lunch at Emerald Forest

9 a.m. Morning Gathering and Announcements at Emerald Forest

9:30 a.m. Session Four Begins (various locations)

1:30 p.m. Session Four Ends

2 p.m. Symposium Roundup

The main Storm Gathering USA website can be found here.

Contact us if you have any questions, queries or want more information about the event.

The Storm Gathering USA Team.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Storm Gathering USA: Event Details


Photo Credit: Helen Wilson Collection.

Storm Gathering USA Website

Date: March 6 to 8, 2015

Location: Trinidad, California

Cost: There are three ticket options -

- $450: This allows admission to all event activities and meals from Friday lunch to Sunday lunch (seven meals). It does not include accommodation.

- $400: This allows admission to all event activities. It does not include meals or accommodation.

- $125: This allows admission to a single, half-day class. It does not include meals or accommodation.

Description: The Storm Gathering USA symposium on the west coast is being organized by Mark Tozer and Helen Wilson of Greenland or Bust.

Mark and Helen are also the organizers of the UK Storm Gathering Symposium (UK SGS), which has become increasingly popular since its inception on the Isle of Mull, Scotland in 2006.

The event will be based at the Emerald Forest of Trinidad.

Booking will be taken from December 1, 2014 through EventBrite – Storm Gathering USA – The West Coast Event 2015.

Updates will appear on this website, via Twitter and Storm Gathering USA's Facebook page.

The main Storm Gathering USA website can be here: www.stormgatheringusa.wordpress.com

Contact us if you have any questions, queries or want more information about the event.

The Storm Gathering USA Team.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

December's Newsletter


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 Optics, WindPaddle 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 Goods Store.

============================================================
Copyright © 2014 Greenland or Bust, All rights reserved.

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

info@greenlandorbust.org

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Meet The SGS USA Team




Meet the Storm Gathering USA team that will be coaching in March. 


We look forward to seeing you in Trinidad, CA.

============================================================
Copyright © 2014 Greenland or Bust, All rights reserved.

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

info@greenlandorbust.org


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sunday, November 23, 2014

“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” - Isak Dinesen


============================================================
Copyright © 2014 Greenland or Bust, All rights reserved.

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

info@greenlandorbust.org

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

A storm is brewing, and the countdown is on.


============================================================
Copyright © 2014 Greenland or Bust, All rights reserved.

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

info@greenlandorbust.org


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November's Newsletter

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.

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Copyright © 2014 Greenland or Bust, All rights reserved.

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

info@greenlandorbust.org

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October's Newsletter


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 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, 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. 

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 FacebookTwitter 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.