My wife and I just returned from our Kayaking Adventure in Crete. While I'm
seldom at a loss for words, there are things about this trip that are
difficult to convey accurately. In many ways, I felt as if I was transported
back in time 2000 years...only I still had internet access and could watch
Greek pro soccer on a flat screen HD TV at a seaside taverna, that was only
accessible on foot or by water. It was an odd and beautiful juxtaposition of
the ancient and the modern that was totally natural, comfortable and most of
all fun.

By way of background, my wife and I are mid fifties and pretty active. We are
regular gym goers, ski 45 to 50 days a season and paddle the quiet waters
around our home near Long Island Sound in Southeastern Connecticut regularly.
Neither of us had ever been to Europe and after building careers, raising
kids and putting them thru college, now was our time. So there was a lot of
anticipation and build up to this trip. I can say unequivocally that it
exceeded my expectations.

Our trip was guided by Northwest Passage founder and owner Rick and his
assistant guide Emily. Rick is a pretty interesting guy. A middle American
small business owner and family man who's job happens to be leading adventure
trips around the world to places like Crete, Italy and the North and South
Pole to name just a few. Having done this trip for many years he definitely
has it dialed in. Totally on top of the situation both on and off the water,
you always felt he was in complete control. Emily was as adorable as she was
competent and friendly. Together they made the whole trip move seamlessly.

But for me, the star of the entire experience is the water around the island.
I had always held a vision of that water based on travel photos that I have
seen, but no photo can do it justice. The beautiful, warm, crystal clear aqua
seas around Crete are simply magnificent. When the sun is overhead and the
water is calm you can see down over 100 feet or more. When the sun changes or
the wind kicks up they can change to sapphire or inky black. And around every
turn there is endless variations of rock, cliff and sea formations that I
never tired of looking at. The paddling could be challenging at times (we hit
some pretty strong headwinds on a few occasions)but I never felt anxious or
uncomfortable. Each day the paddling was broken into 3 legs and anyone who
chose to could opt out if they didn't want to paddle one or more sections.
Between Rick and Emily they adapted to both the individual and group needs,
so I think that everyone got as much or as little as they wanted on any given
day.

On land the accommodations were clean, comfortable and waterfront. The food
was simple, local, fresh and delicious. They people were universally friendly
(I suspect due largely to the fact that Rick has been there so many times
that when we walked in it was like the return of the prodigal son). Best of
all, our group brought together a diverse selection of strangers who finished
the week treating each other like friends and family. It was as completely
authentic and unpretentious an experience as I can imagine having.

If you want to sit on a beach all day and have a cabana boy bring you Rum
Punch while you are on vacation, this might not be the trip for you. If, on
the other hand, you want to literally immerse yourself in some of the most
beautiful water in the world, experience life like a local and finish each
day with that wonderful fatigue that comes from doing a vigorous but fun
activity all day long (and makes that first cold beer taste like heaven) this
is your adventure. My sincere thanks to Rick, Emily and all the Northwest
Passage staff for truly making this the trip of a lifetime!!  Rob and Ann
Keville, East Lyme, CT.