Saturday, November 07, 2015

November's Newsletter


Kayak 'season' is only just now slowing down for us here at Greenland or Bust. It has been a WONDERFUL year. We've run classes and taught at symposiums in Wales, Mexico, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, England and the U.S. (South Carolina, California, Minnesota and Oregon). In addition to all of this, we also had our first Storm Gathering USA event, which took place in Trinidad, California. Now we've got a little time to reflect on the past twelve months and get working on next year's schedule.

October started with Simplifying the Roll and some private classes on Anglesey, in Wales. Then we went to Cornwall, England for the Sea Kayaking Cornwall Symposium. After that, Helen headed to Pacific City, Oregon, for Lumpy Waters. This weekend she hosts a Halloween Campout at Stone Lagoon (California) for our local club, Explore North Coast. Mark remained in Cornwall to teach various BCU and ISKGA ( programs before finishing the month with some sea kayak skills development courses, including an ISKGA Fundamentals Level 1 in North Wales.

In November, Helen will be teaching Traditional Paddling and Rolling and Simplifying the Roll at Horseshoe Cove in California. Mark will be working on some BCU and ISKGA programs on Anglesey. After that, both of us will be spending the month wrapping up our 2016 schedule.

In December, we've got classes in San Diego, Marina Del Rey and Dana Point (all in California). And then 2016 starts...

2016 will be a very busy year, but there's two events that you should lock into your calendar now. February 20 to 22 is the 8th UK Storm Gathering Symposium, which takes place on Anglesey in Wales. The main event will be followed by BCU and ISKGA WeekSecond, our next Greenaland expedition takes place in the Disco Bay/Ilulissat area from July 20 to 31, 2016, and there are only a couple of places left! Contact us at for more information.

As usual, visit for more information, our current Events calendar and Blog postings. You can also find us on Twitter. For questions, comments or to schedule us in your neighborhood, email

Happy paddling!

Helen and Mark

Q & A with Helen

Progression from the Butterfly Roll to the Hand Roll

Question: I am doing fine on my standard roll, but my easiest roll has always been the Butterfly Roll. I have been looking at some Greenland roll videos online, and the hand rolls look very similar to me to the Butterfly Roll. Do they feel very similar? Any advice before I try one?

Answer: A hand roll is very similar to a Butterfly Roll. To progress to this roll, it's a good idea to first fine tune your Butterfly Roll. Following are the steps to a solid Butterfly Roll (described with a right side recovery).

- During the capsize, keep your paddle in contact with the kayak. Your paddle should remain in contact with the kayak throughout the underwater set-up position.

- Once there, explode, opening your left arm and driving with your right knee at the same time. Opening your left arm should put shoulders square to the surface of the water.

- Put your chin into the air, and slide onto the back deck.

When you feel that you are ready to move on, hold a norsaq in the center, just as you would when doing a Butterfly Roll. It’s the exact same roll, so all of the same rules apply.

When this is easy for you, try doing the same roll while holding the smaller end of the norsaq. The Greenlandic name for this roll is Norsamik Nerfalallugu (Throwing Stick, Front to Back).

And finally, once this roll feels natural, remove the norsaq and do the same roll. That’s your layback hand roll (Assammik Nerfallallugu).

Program Schedule

Halloween Campout at Stone Lagoon
(for ENC)
October 31 to November 1,
Stone Lagoon, California

Traditional Paddling and Rolling
November 7, Horseshoe Cove, California

Simplifying the Roll
November 8, Horseshoe Cove, California

ISKGA Expedition Skills
November 10 to 12, Falmouth, Cornwall

BCU 4 Star Sea Assessment
November 13 and 14, Anglesey, Wales

BCU 4 Star Sea Assessment
November 23 and 24, Anglesey, Wales

BCU Open Water Navigation & Tidal Planning
November 28, Anglesey, Wales

Simplifying the Roll
December 12 and 13, San Diego, California

Simplifying the Roll
December 19, Dana Point, California

Simplifying the Roll
December 20, Marina Del Rey, California

…And Finally

Working on your roll and need a little help? Simplifying the Roll with Helen Wilson and Yoga for Outdoor People are available from our on-line store HERE.

Copyright © 2015 Greenland or Bust, All rights reserved.

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

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Greenland - Reading Material and Other Resources

Photographer: Bendt-Moses Jensen.

Expedition participants often ask us about recommended reference material so they can learn more about Greenland, so we have complied a list of books and resources that may be of interest to you. 

Please help us keep the list relevant and let us know if you think something that should appear here.

Factual Reading:

The Sledge Patrol (1957) by David Howarth.

A Naturalist's Guide to the Arctic (1995) by E. C.  Credit Bendt-Moses Jensen.

A Complete Guide to Arctic Wildlife (2012) by Richard Sale.

Travel Writing:

An African in Greenland (2001) by Tété-Michel Kpomassie.

This Cold Heaven - Seven Seasons in Greenland (2003) by Gretel Ehrlich.

Greenland - The End of the World (2010) by Damjan Koncnik.

Arctic Explorers:

The First Crossing of Greenland (1892) by Fridtjof Nansen.

Greenland by the Polar Sea (1921) by Knud Rasmussen.

Dancing on Ice - A Stirring Tale of Adventure, Risk and Reckless Folly (2009) by Jeremy Scott.


Eskimo Folk Tales (1921) by Knud Rasmussen (Ed).

No One Thinks of Greenland (2002) by John Griesemer.

The Greenlanders (2005) by Jane Smiley.


The Wedding of Palo (1934) - It tells the contest between two rivals for the love of an Inuit woman. The forces of nature will decide the winner.

The Journals of Knud Rasmussen (2006) - European explorers change the lives of an Inuit community while exploring the Arctic in 1922.

Village At The End Of The World (2012) - A witty, surprising and ultimately feel good portrait of an isolated village of 59 people and 100 sledge dogs, surviving against the odds.


Acknowledgements: We are grateful to past expedition participants for helping us refine this information. 

Photographer: Mark Tozer