Summary: Any paddle that ends at a restaurant is off to a good start. But since this paddle is about a seven-mile one-way trip, you first have to deal with the car shuttle (see "Directions to launch site" for details). Setting off from Crissy Field on the flood you'll be carried along past Marina Green and Fort Mason and you can then detour into Aquatic Park to look at the historic vessels moored there. You can also stop off at Fishermans Wharf and Pier 39 to look at tourists and the sea lions and give them a wide berth (the sea lions not the tourists). After heading down past the piers and the Ferry Terminal (watch out for ferries), pass under the Bay Bridge (watch out for hubcaps), and then head into McCovey Cove just past AT&T Park. If your timing is exquisite, you can catch a home run ball. After that it's about a mile to the restaurant. Keep heading in past derelict piers and pilings until the scent of hamburgers wafts out over the water to guide you to the boat ramp immediately to the right of the restaurant. If you pass the huge drydock you've gone too far. You'll have to lift your boats over a railing, through the diners, and out through the car park to the street, but it's not far and hunger will motivate you.
Special Cautions: Although you're paddling close to the shore, there's big water around and you're quite likely to get hit with some (almost) surfable waves. Sailors when racing are an extremely competitive lot and if you're in their path, they'll scare the s*** out of you before they ease the helm. If you meet a race while paddling east along Marina Green you may have boats tacking towards you, coming from port and starboard and you could find your vocabulary enriched quite suddenly. And then there's the ferries: Golden Gate, Black & Gold, Red & White, Alameda, Vallejo, etc. The twin hulled ones can move really fast too. Stay together as a group when passing by Pier 39 and the Ferry Terminal.
Directions to launch site: Crissy Field is the renovated part of the Presidio that lies east of the Golden Gate Bridge and west of Marina Green. There is a large parking area adjacent to the beach where you can offload your boats before beginning the car shuttle, the object of which is to get as many cars as possible down to the take-out site. If paddlers have carpooled to the put-in you'll be able to leave someone at the beach to keep an eye on the boats and prevent the many, many dogs from peeing on them. To get to The Ramp restaurant, head east out of the park and take The Embarcadero all the way down past AT&T Park then turn left onto 3rd Street. Cross the bridge and stay on 3rd until you turn left at 18th. The restaurant is ahead of you. There are parking restrictions around the restaurant so watch where you park. Now you can either pile into the largest vehicle or catch a cab and head back to the boats.