Saturday, January 31, 2015

Storm Gathering USA - Symposium Update

Greetings Paddlers!

We hope that you're doing well and getting out on the water a lot… and if you aren't, here's your chance. Storm Gathering USA is coming up in just five short weeks, and we wanted to give you an update.

Things are coming together quickly, and registered participants have been sent their itineraries.

Classes are filling fast, one is totally full and several others only have one or two available places. This means that if you haven't registered yet, you better get on it for the best class selection. Click HERE to link to the class descriptions.

News for this week, times and days of classes are now posted.

Our event's speakers are Justine Curgenven on Friday night and Ben Lawry on Saturday night. Below are the programs for each evening.

Friday Evening Presentation: The Aleutian islands stretch like a broken bridge from Russia to Alaska, renowned for strong winds, dangerous tidal rips and sheer remoteness. In 2014, two women took on one of the last great sea kayaking journeys, attempting a world first 2,500 km paddle along the Aleutian island chain and Alaskan peninsula. Experienced expedition paddler Justine Curgenven described it as her most challenging journey, made more so because she was with an inexperienced paddler who had only just learnt to roll. In a nail biting adventure, Sarah Outen and Justine are taken away from land by unknown currents, approached by bears, grounded by headwinds, scared by sea lions in the night and given an insight into the lives of the few people who live in this harsh and beautiful landscape. The film of this incredible 101 day adventure has only just been released. Justine will show extracts from the film and tell behind-the-scene stories.

Saturday Evening Presentation: Ben Lawry will host a social evening of entertainment which will include a lively slideshow, a raffle, beer provided by Thule and a social gathering.

We've been updating the Storm Gathering USA website as exciting things happen, so visit soon, and visit often :-)

One final note… Trinidad is GORGEOUS. Wherever you're coming from, it's worth the trek. But just to make it a little simpler, we're about a five-hour drive north from San Francisco, an eight-hour drive south from Portland, or a hop, skip and eight-mile jump from the Eureka/Arcata airport (airport code ACV), and there's even an airport shuttle - Door To Door Airporter - that can help you out with that jump.

Please let us know if you have any questions, and we hope to see you in March!

Helen Wilson and Mark Tozer

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Helen and Mark's Nordic Tour - Northern Europe 2015

Date: May to August, 2015

Location: Denmark, Sweden and Norway

Description: Helen and Mark will be traveling through Europe teaching classes mostly in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The Nordic Tour will be supported by Rebel Kayaks and Greenland or Bust.

Exact dates and locations will be posted in the early part of 2015 on our Greenland or Bust Events page.

Contact: For more information, daily rates and our availability, e-mail

Saturday, January 24, 2015

SGS USA Class Timetable - March 6, 7 and 8

Photo Credit: Paddle Pals Collection
Photo Credit: Paddle Pals Collection
We have set out below a timetable for the classes that are running on each day of the symposium.
If you've already registered, we'll be in touch with your itinerary. Classes are filling very fast. Don't wait too long to register!
Full class descriptions can be found by following this link.

Friday Afternoon, March 6 2015

All Levels
Kayak Sailing KS1
Fun With Foster FWF
Level 1 - 2
Storm Paddling Essentials SPE
Surf Zone Fundamentals SZF
Level 2 - 3
Practical Leadership & Group Dynamics FLGD1
Moderate Water Boat Handling MWBH1
Long Boat Surfing LBS1
Level 3
Rough Water Boat Handling RWBH 1
Tricky Launch, Tricky Landing TLTL1

Saturday Morning, March 7 2015

All Levels
Developing Boat Control DBC
Level 1 - 2
Fundamentals of Rock Gardening FRG 1
Core Rescue Skills CRS
Level 2 -3
Practical Leadership & Group Dynamics FLGD1
Incident Management IM 1
Moderate Water Boat Handling MWBH2
Long Boat Surfing LBS2
Level 3
Rough Water Boat Handling RWBH 2
Rock Garden Safety & Rescue RGSR 1

Saturday Afternoon, March 7 2015

All Levels
Simplifying The Roll STR
Effective Forward Paddling EFP
Level 1 - 2
Fundamentals of Sea Kayak Leadership FSKL
Level 2 - 3
Combat Rolling CR
Incident Managment IM2
Intermdiate Rock Gardening IRG1
White Water of The Sea WWS1
Level 3
Rock Garden Safety & Rescue RGSR2

Sunday Morning, March 8 2015

All Levels
Kayak Sailing KS2
Level 1 - 2
Fundamentals of Rock Gardening FRG 2
Ocean Journey OJ
Level 2 - 3
Sea Journey SJ
Short Boat Surfing SBS
Intermediate Rock Gardening IRG2
Level 3
Rough Water Boat Handling RWBH 3
Tricky Launch, Tricky Landing TLTL2

Further updates will appear on this website, via Twitter and Storm Gathering USA’s Facebook page.
Contact us if you have any questions, queries or want more information about the event.
The Storm Gathering USA Team.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Anglesey Adventure - April 6 to 10, Anglesey

Date: April 6 to 10, 2015

Location: Anglesey, Wales

Guides: Helen and Mark are both accomplished paddlers and frequent guest coaches at symposia and kayaking events across the U.S., Europe and the rest of the world. They have lead trips together in the US, UK, Europe and Greenland.

Description: North Wales is renowned amongst sea kayakers all over the world for its rugged coastline, tidal features, historic sites and outstanding wildlife. In particular, the coastal waters and spectacular scenery around Anglesey make this area an ideal location for some great boat-based adventures, and it is the perfect setting for improving essential paddling skills too. Our aim is to complete a number of classic Anglesey sea kayak adventures over the five days.

We are offering the opportunity to complete the following BCU qualifications during the trip: BCU 3 Star Sea Training and BCU 3 Star Sea Assessment where appropriate

Considerations: Weather will be the deciding factor when it comes to which trip we complete each day. If the weather is too poor there are alternative activities available to us. Distance achieved each day is dependant on tides/winds and overall group ability.

Prerequisites: From the challenges offered by ‘The Swellies’ to the scenic cliffs of Holy Island to the lighthouses of Penmon and South Stack, there is plenty to see and explore as we kayak around the island. Strong tides and winds of Force 3 to 5 are often encountered, so to get the most out of this 5 day adventure it is important that participants have experience of paddling in these conditions and are fit, active paddlers. We advise using the BCU 3 Star / ACA 3 syllabi as a means of benchmarking personal skills.

Contact: For more information, program costs, boat hire and accommodation options or to book a place, e-mail

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Spirit of Antarctica Expedition - December 31 to January 28, Antarctic Peninsula

Join Helen and Mark of Greenland or Bust onboard the Spirit of Sydney in Ushuaia, Argentina for a voyage of a lifetime to the Antarctic Peninsula that will include sailing, sea kayaking, mountaineering, visiting historical sites, camping, and nature watching.

Dates: December 31, 2015 - January 28, 2016

What this includes: Once aboard the ‘Spirit of Sydney,’ your food, drinks (including beer and wine), port fees, permits and IAATO passenger fees are included. You need only bring some US dollars for buying souvenirs at the Antarctic bases we may visit and for gratuities. During the sea kayaking phases you will be supplied with a Current Designs ‘Storm,’ a paddle, paddle mitts, spray deck, pump, lifejacket and VHF. Dry suits can be hired should participants not have their own.

What this does not include: Travel to and from Ushuaia; travel insurance; accommodation and meals in Ushuaia prior to and after the expedition; personal clothing and equipment; Argentinean Reciprocity Fee for US / Canadian citizens; medical exam; Iridium communications while on board.

Payment Schedule: Due to the advanced planning necessary for an expedition of this nature, a part payment deposit of $5,000 is due by March 30, 2015 when booking with two more instalments that will complete full payment by September 30, 2015.

Ethos: This is very much a ‘hands on’ expedition and participants will need to be motivated and engaged. All live aboard tasks are shared including: sailing, helming, anchoring, cooking and domestic chores. Our plan is to take like-minded people on an experience of a lifetime, and the expedition will work best if everyone is prepared to lend a hand and be a part of the crew.

Experience: This expedition is designed for agile and active people who have an adventurous and positive outlook. Participation is the key to enjoyment. No sailing experience is required, but previous participation in wilderness voyages and a good level of sea kayaking skills are a must.

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to Cathy and Darrel from the Spirit of Sydney for their help in preparing this information.

If you have any questions, queries or concerns please contact us at Greenland or Bust -