On January 28, 2017, it's the weekend and I got a lot of paddlers psyched to paddle around their neighborhood! I planned a couple of paddles: one was from Emeryville to Treasure Island a nice 4 mile paddle crossing the bay bridge and another one was my favorite circumnavigating Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island about 6 miles. Both of these paddles requires quite a big of navigation and watching out for boats and currents because we are now in the busy channels crossing the bay bridge and paddling between Treasure Island and San Francisco, where there's a lot of commercial boat traffic.
Saturday morning was perfect, very little boat traffic and we coasted from Emeryville to Treasure Island. Nat Chan, Dave Burdick, Carlo Maravilla, and I went pretty quickly through the Bay Bridge. Carlo as usual was faster than most of us and sprinted back and forth between us. Nat and Dave did really well as intermediate paddlers.
Once we reached Treasure Island clipper cove, we met up with Amy Mosbey and Sean Mosbey. We then paddled around Treasure Island counter clockwise and under the west span of the Bay Bridge. On that side of Treasure Island, there are some great rollers if you're into downwind surf especially in the summer time. The tug boats also kick up a lot of fun waves as well. Paddling under the Bay Bridge and next to Yerba Buena definitely shows the wild character of the island agains the urban jungle of San Francisco across the bridge. We were able to find a little peace and harmony on the back side on a small beach to chill. As we circumnavigated, we also found many young seals in the back side of the island - as many as 40 I counted. It must be the good currents that go under the bridge that attract that many harbor seals. The moms were not amused at our presence so we quickly left the area. Front there, we paddled in more calm water under the east span of the Bridge and back to Clipper Cove.
Hazards: too many to count - this paddle is definitely not for beginners and maybe not intermediates if you don't know anything about marine traffic, wind and current. You should follow someone else the first time and learn about navigation.
Put-in: The Emeryville Marina is a favorite for a lot of stand up paddle board downwinders and kite boarders. KGB - a favorite local kite board outfitter is based out of there. Barbary Ghost - a local favorite trawler boat operated by Drew - is a great provider of downwinders as Captain Drew can take six downwind boards and take you wherever you want on the bay and pick you up at the end of the run. The marina itself is easy to park (with a fee) and has porte-potties.
Take-out: Treasure Island has a couple of places to put in. Clipper Cove is probably the easier put in because it's sheltered. The unfortunate thing is that the ramp next to The Winery SF is steep and slippery - definitely not a one person carry and put in operation. For this put in/take out, we would stage a person in the water and a person near shore to help a paddler get into the water. Group effort is needed! There's another place near the north end of the island which is under construction at the moment and will likely be for a while. You'll have to carry your board a ways and also go down a boat ramp with slippery seaweed. The north end is a perfect place to put in for downwinders going towards Emeryville/Berkeley/Richmond depending on which way the wind blows.