If you have the desire to paddle on the ocean Lincolnville Beach is just about perfect for getting kayaks in and out of the water.

On an early February day we decided to put in at the wonderful, sandy beach that was partly covered with snow and set out for Camden. The trip can be a very easy 7-8 miles especially if the wind and tide are both at your back. Yes. We were that lucky.

The wind was strong enough to churn up 1- to 2-foot waves that allowed for surfing while we enjoyed the views of islands to the east and the mainland to the west. We paddled about a mile offshore to surf waves that were rapidly taking us back to the mainland. This made the trip a good bit longer in miles paddled but also a great deal more fun.

The challenge of such excursion in the middle of the winter hardly comes from the distance but more from the air and water temperatures. If you are dressed properly a kayak trip in the cold can be as comfortable as in the summer. Each of us was wearing either a wet suit or a dry suit. That would allow for continuing the trip, even after full immersion, greatly increasing our chances of remaining reasonably warm and functional in a kayak. Safety is by no means a small matter, but the four people on this trip were all familiar with self-rescue, as well as able to help others in case of trouble.

When undertaking any trip on the ocean, check the tides, as the current created can be working against you and even stop your progress altogether. We didn’t have the time to paddle back so we set up shuttle vehicles in Camden. The trip was unique in that there was absolutely no boat traffic as we entered Camden Harbor, allowing us a leisurely look-around at the schooners that were all covered with plastic for the winter. I would not want to discourage anyone from trying out such a trip. If you have limited or no experience in a kayak, it is by far the best idea to head out with a sea kayak guide service, or try to join a group that knows how to deal with emergency situations.