Assuming you are in the SF bay area, I would join BASK and start paddling with them. The sf bay is a fantastic but complex place, lots of currents, wind and rock.
Hmm... BASK, eh?
That seems a very good idea. I've been sorta kinda looking into joining a paddling group of some kind, once I've gotten some more of the basics down. I assume they have paddles all over the Greater Bay Area and Monterey Bay, not just one place (such as Marin, for example).