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.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Leave No Trace Seven Principles



To reprint the Leave No Trace Seven Principles, include copyright language and please do not alter them without review from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.


The Leave No Trace Seven Principles are also available for various environments and activities.

• Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you’ll visit.
• Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
• Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
• Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
• Repackage food to minimize waste.
• Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.

• Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
• Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
• Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
• In popular areas:
• Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
• Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
• Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
• In pristine areas:
• Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
• Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.

• Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
• Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
• Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
• To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.

• Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
• Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
• Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
• Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.

• Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
• Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
• Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
• Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.

• Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
• Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
• Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
• Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
• Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.

• Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
• Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
• Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
• Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
• Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

'Never Alone' - Indigenous Digital Game Development


Never Alone is the first game developed with an indigenous community, using traditional native stories in a beautiful and compelling educational game. Read more via The Guardian.

 

Ron Brower, Sr., an Iñupiat Elder and Cultural Ambassador to the Never Alone project describes the importance of making a videogame to pass traditional knowledge to the next generation.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

'Sledge Patrol' Directors Cut 2014 by Sandra Skibsted



The world would possibly have been a very different place had it not been for the subjects of this film...70 years forgotten, this is the story about a top secret Arctic war, fought by a handful of Danish, Norwegian and Greenlandic hunters in one of the most remote and hostile battlefields of WWII. These men, tasked to patrol the isolated Northeast coast of Greenland, became Greenland's first army, the unofficial last defence against the Wehrmacht and the true guardians of Greenland.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

September's Newsletter


CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF JAMAICA • ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION

Our Nordic Tour began on May 24, and we've had a wonderful summer running classes in Sweden, Norway and Denmark (with a break in the middle to guide an expedition in South Greenland). We're writing this from our last stop on the Nordic Tour, Sandhamn, Sweden. Throughout the summer we've had bright and sunny days and warm water. Now the evenings are darker, the skies are cloudy and both the water and air temperature are dropping each day. It's still beautiful, but summer is coming to an end. In August we ran classes in Nynashamn, Stockholm, Mora, Karlstad, Malmo, Karlshamn and Sandhamn (Sweden) and Hundested and Svendborg (Denmark). The tour is sponsored by Rebel Kayaks.

On Sunday the tour ends, and Mark heads to the UK while Helen heads to Minnesota for The Traditional Paddlers' Gathering. In late September and early October we'll be running classes in Wales and Scotland, then later this year we have classes and symposia scheduled in the U.S., Wales, Scotland, Israel and Mexico.

After all of that we're going on vacation, so naturally, we're going paddling. 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… just in time for the Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium.

Interested in joining us for an expedition? Our Antarctic expedition dates are set for December 31, 2015 to January 27/28, 2016 (these do not include travel days to and from Argentina). 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. For questions, comments or to schedule us in your neighborhood, email info@greenlandorbust.org. 

Wherever you're spending the rest of the summer, we hope that you're enjoying some good water time. Happy paddling!

- Helen and Mark

Helen's Mentoring Madness 

Practice makes perfect, and that practice is especially important when learning a roll, whether it's your first roll or your 50th. If you participate in a rolling class, you will hopefully pull off a new roll or two, but after that, it's up to you to practice to make that roll work for you every time. Once the roll is learned it takes about two times a week of practice for a month to make that roll consistent. 

When practicing, keep your brain focused. Quality is more important than quantity, and it's better to do one good roll and take a break than it is to do ten rolls with the hope that a couple of them will work. A good rule to remember is that a roll performed badly three times in a row will reinforce bad habits, so keep your brain focused. As instructors, our goal for our rolling students is for the student to know why the roll works when it works, why it doesn't work when it doesn't and how to practice… after that, it's up to the student.

Program Schedule

Nordic Tour:
•  May 23 to July 4 and July 24 to August 31

• May 24 to 25 – Helsingborg, Sweden

• May 30 to June 1 – Bergen, Norway

• June 7 to 9 – Fitjar, Norway

• June 14 to 15 - Bekkjarvik, Norway

• June 26 - Rungsted, Denmark

• June 27 to 29 – Copenhagen, Denmark

• July 1 to 3 - Oslo, Norway

• July 4 to 5 – Grebbestad, Sweden

• July 24 to August 4 – Nynashamn, Sweden

• August 5 to 7 - Stockholm, Sweden

• August 9 to 10 – Mora, Sweden

• August 12 to 14 – Karlstad, Sweden

• August 16 to 17 – Hundested, Denmark

• August 20 to 21 – Svendborg, Denmark

• August 23 – Malmo, Sweden

• August 24 – Karlshamn, Sweden

• August 29 to 31 – Sandhamn, Sweden

Traditional Paddlers' Gathering: September 4 to 7, Lake Carlos State Park, Minnesota

BCU 4 Star Sea Assessment: September 13 to 14, Anglesey, Wales

Intermediate / Advanced Leader and Trip Planning Training: September 22 to 26, Anglesey, Wales

Simplifying the Roll: September 27, Anglesey, Wales

Combat Rolling: September 28, Anglesey, Wales

Qajaq Immersion Weekend: October 4 to 5, Bute, Scotland

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

…And Finally

Working on your roll and need a little help? Simplifying the Roll with Helen Wilson and Yoga for Outdoor People are available for purchase by clicking HERE.
============================================================
Copyright © 2014 Greenland or Bust, All rights reserved.
Helen Wilson and Mark Tozer • (707) 834-5501
info@greenlandorbust.org

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

August's Newsletter



SOUTH GREENLAND EXPEDITION • THE NORDIC TOUR • WALES • SCOTLAND

When Mark and I began our Nordic Tour on May 24 the summer seemed very long. Now, with just over three weeks left of the tour, we can't believe how quickly it has gone. The tour has taken us to numerous places in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. We've spent lots of days in the bright sun and warm water. We've taught classes on lakes and seas, and our days off have been spent with friends, riding roller coasters or sightseeing. It has been a wonderful summer, and there's still more of it to come!

The tour is sponsored by Rebel Kayaks, and in July we ran classes in Oslo, Norway and Grebbestad, Sweden. Then we hopped on a plane to South Greenland to guide a 13 day expedition. Our paddling team came from the U.S., Israel and Sweden, and we enjoyed the diversity that each team member brought to the expedition. Greenland is a magical place, and we feel refreshed and renewed now that we've gotten our Greenland fix. Our next guided Greenland expedition will take place in the summer of 2016. Would you like to join us?

After Greenland we headed to Nynashamn, Sweden for nine days of instruction, which included a three-day tour with a combined EPP and BCU assessment. It was great to catch up with Pelle and Carina of Nynäs Kajaks. They are also the Europe distributors of our DVD, Yoga for Outdoor People, so if you need a few copies for your store, get in touch with them, info@nynaskajak.se. After leaving Nynashamn, we headed to Stockholm, which is where we are now. We've got one more day of classes here, and then we'll finish the tour with classes in Mora, Karlstad, Malmo, Karlshamn and Sandhamn (Sweden) and Frederiksvaerk and Svendborg (Denmark). Then Helen is off to Minnesota for the Traditional Paddlers' Gathering, and Mark heads to the UK to prepare for classes that we'll be running in Wales and Scotland in late September and October.

Later this year we have classes and symposia scheduled in the U.S., Wales, Scotland, Israel and Mexico. We've also got an exciting expedition planned in December, and then we'll we preparing for the U.S. Storm Gathering Symposium, which takes place in Trinidad, California on March 6, 7 and 8.

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, email info@greenlandorbust.org. 

Wherever you're spending the rest of the summer, we hope that you're enjoying some good water time. Happy paddling!

- Helen and Mark


Dr. T's Coaching Corner

Most sea kayakers would agree that some form of towing system, whether participating in a coastal journey or venturing out on the open ocean, is an essential item to have as part of their safety equipment.

Towing systems come in different forms, they can be waist mounted; boat mounted and chest mounted. Make sure to fully test the system you go for and be aware of its limitations. The system that is right for you is the system that works for you, without fuss or fumbling, so practice with it on a regular basis.

When shopping for a towing system, or even making your own, consider asking the following questions: does it come with floating line? is the line long enough? can the length of line be adjusted easily? does it have a quick release mechanism? does it have a large enough bag so the line can be restowed quickly, even with cold hands? is the clip large enough for handling in rough water; and is it made from a corrosion resistant material? Whatever you choose, make sure to adapt it so the system works for you in all situations.

Once you have selected a towing system, it is just as important to know how and when to deploy it. Towing can be a means to assist an incapacitated paddler and get them to a safe location. This might be a short distance or a couple of miles in open water. Doing this quickly and efficiently can make all the difference in preventing a situation from worsening.

You might wish to tow someone on their own for a short distance, but for longer distances it might be preferable to raft them up with another paddler. You may want to share the load of towing by adding more tows in-line with the original towing kayak. For even greater distances, having a effective method of swapping paddlers around who are doing the towing is an important consideration.

Towing systems can also be used to help anchor a paddler performing a deep water rescue on a fellow kayaker to prevent them both from drifting into rocks or being taken away by the current. Other uses can include using them as stirups to help a tired paddler climb into their boat; acting as a sea anchor; a tarp line; and for use as a short, quick release contact tow.

Every system has it merits and disadvantages. Learn to use the one you choose and train with others to test each situation and explore the possibiities so that when you need it for real it all works smoothly.

Nordic Tour:

• May 23 to July 4 and July 24 to August 31

• May 24 to 25 – Helsingborg, Sweden

• May 30 to June 1 – Bergen, Norway

• June 7 to 9 – Fitjar, Norway

• June 14 to 15 - Bekkjarvik, Norway

• June 26 - Rungsted, Denmark

• June 27 to 29 – Copenhagen, Denmark

• July 1 to 3 - Oslo, Norway

• July 4 to 5 – Grebbestad, Sweden

• July 24 to August 4 – Nynashamn, Sweden

• August 5 to 7 - Stockholm, Sweden

• August 9 to 10 – Mora, Sweden

• August 12 to 14 – Karlstad, Sweden

• August 16 to 17 – Frederiksværk, Denmark

• August 20 to 21 – Svendborg, Denmark

• August 23 – Malmo, Sweden

• August 24 – Karlshamn, Sweden

• August 29 to 31 – Sandhamn, Sweden

Program Schedule

Traditional Paddlers' Gathering: September 4 to 7, Lake Carlos State Park, Minnesota

BCU 4 Star Sea Assessment: September 13 to 14, Anglesey, Wales

Intermediate / Advanced Leader and Trip Planning Training: September 22 to 26, Anglesey, Wales

Simplifying the Roll: September 27, Anglesey, Wales

Combat Rolling: September 28, Anglesey, Wales

Qajaq Immersion Weekend: October 4 to 5, Bute, Scotland

…And Finally

Working on your roll and need a little help? Simplifying the Roll with Helen Wilson and Yoga for Outdoor People are available for purchase by clicking HERE.
============================================================
Copyright © 2014 Greenland or Bust, All rights reserved.
Helen Wilson and Mark Tozer • (707) 834-5501
info@greenlandorbust.org