I hesitate to write a harsh review, so I will make the disclaimer that the experience really boils down to an independent guide that each company contracts to represent them.
Our guide was not good.
This was the one thing I had looked forward to the most when planning our trip this year. I read a lot of reviews!! We have never kayaked, let alone out on the ocean in the sound where the whales will be. I was pretty excited and looking forward to the adventure.
My husband and I arrived at the launch site a few minutes early, great we are here! Several guides were launching from the site and no one had any business logo to indicate they were with Kelii's. We spoke to a couple and finally were pointed to the one I was sort of hoping we weren't going to end up talking to. A rather gruff kind of guy who didn't introduce himself, pushed a clipboard at us to fill out and a book of pictures we didn't know what to do with. Turns out later that he will take pictures for you and send them to you for a fee. Charming and personably presented.
The trip was ok. It was exhilerating paddling out into the sound, but one boat out of the four on the trip was a couple who should not have been out kayaking. He was in no physical condition to keep up and we were not paddling hard at all (I am positive, because I had been worried that I was going to have a hard time and never did.) So we didn't go far because they obviously annoyed the guide.
We signed on for the longer excursion, partially for the challenge, partially because I really wanted to spend time with someone who really knew the area and could help us get to know that area of the water better. Our guide had other ideas. I asked him if he was familiar with this area of the island: no, not really-but he pointed out Clint Eastwood's house-um, ok. Saw some guys fishing and asked what they would be fishing for: i don't know. asked him about snorkeling in the area: i don't snorkel here--aren't you guiding us to snorkel spots later???? ok, no questions. check.
It was a windy day, so he sat on his kayak while we all snorkeled. ? I do know he had lots of aches and pains. It was too cold to be out. His wife was on a trip. He was trying to buy a house.....
Kayaking was ok-hung out with a couple nice, big turtles but no whale sightings and not enough time out in the sound. Guide not ok. The other guides at the launch site spoke more to us about our trip than our own did. bummer
Thought about asking for a refund, but didn't want to waste trip time fussing over money. What was done, was done.
I read some great reviews for Kelii's, which is why we chose them. Too bad we can't report a better trip with them. I am not willing to say I will try again. Sadly, I won't.