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

Sunday, January 25, 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 -

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:

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.

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.

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