by Helen Wilson
Since my last blog entry Mark and I have been hopping around Denmark and Sweden teaching classes in some very fun, and yet very different locations.
Mikael enjoys a gorgeous day in Billdal, Sweden.
The wind provided perfect conditions for a BCU 3 Star Sea Assessment.
Demonstrating rescues during the assessment.
After leaving Copenhagen, we headed to Billdal, Sweden, to run classes for Sea Kayak Bildal. For four days we ran Simplifying the Roll, Simplifying the Stroke, a BCU 3 Star Sea Training, a BCU 3 Star Sea Assessment and Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning. For the most part, the weather was gorgeous, although the wind picked up just in time for the Assessment, which provided the candidates with the perfect conditions to demonstrate their skills. Several mornings were spent doing yoga on the beach, and evenings were spent with our wonderful hosts, Jessica and Mikael enjoying tasty food and beverages. Before departing, it was wonderful to spend some time horseback riding with Jessica on her gorgeous Icelandic horses.
Congrats to the BCU 3 Star candidates!
After classes I enjoyed a morning with Jessica and her horses Aspar and Galdur.
After leaving Billdal, we headed back to Denmark to run classes for Frederiksvaerk Ro and Kajakklub. We found this group of enthusiastic kayakers to be tons of fun, and we had a wonderful time running classes there. I ran two sessions of Simplifying the Roll and two sessions of Complicating the Roll. Mark ran full-day technical skills classes. We enjoyed our visit so much that we decided to stay in the area an extra day to explore. Not far away, on a hill with a gorgeous view over the sea, is the house that used to belong to explorer Knud Rasmussen, which is now a museum. Knud Rassmussen is often referred to as the “Father of Eskimology,” and we spent an afternoon checking out his house, which featured incredible Greenlandic artwork and artifacts. Special thanks to our wonderful hosts Mette and Jakob, who made us feel right at home.
A little pre-class meditation.
One of many exercises to get people rolling.
Working on the Balance Brace.
While my class was rolling, Mark’s class was balancing.
Mark talks about the correct way to hold a paddle.
Knud Rasmussen’s house.
Expedition reports decorate bookshelves.
Mark checks out a paddle in one of the rooms.
A harpoon sat in the corner of a room.
Our next stop was Grebbestad, Sweden, to run classes for the KajakCenter for two days. Grebbestad is a spectacular fishing town located on the west coast, and one of our favorite places to visit. We enjoyed the stunning weather while we paddled to an island to run full-day rolling classes. This was my fourth time instructing here, and Mark’s second, and it was wonderful to catch up with all of the knowledgeable staff. Thanks for hosting us again!
I find the islands around Grebbestad to be very peaceful, especially on a calm day.
A great beach for rolling classes.
The paddle back to Grebbestad.
Our next stop was Karlstad, Sweden to run classes for Vanerkajak. Once again the skies were clear, and the sun was shining. It was nice to be in a part of Sweden that neither of us had traveled to before. During the full-day rolling classes we paddled to an island on Lake Vanern, which is the largest lake in Sweden. The island has a warm sandy beach and water so clear that if something was dropped, it was easy to spot on the sandy bottom. Thanks to Bjorn for hosting us!
A warm beach is a wonderful place to talk about rolling.
Mark works with a rolling student.
I help a roller figure out set-up position.
After the group was done rolling we enjoyed a scenic paddle back to the launch site.
Yesterday we arrived in Mora, Sweden, where we’ll be running classes tomorrow before heading back to the west coast for more classes.
Photos by Mikael Svalstrand, Jacob Skov, Mark and Helen.