If you don't want to be at the mercy of the elements you have to understand how things work and have the skill to work around them. We couldn't paddle direct to Angel Island, but instead we ducked into Richardson Bay where the current is minimal and worked our way up to Belvedere Pt. Then we ferried across Racoon Strait. This takes some harder paddling to overcome the current, and the water can get rough because of the shelf the water flows over, but we had the speed and skill to handle the conditions. We worked our way around the island by hugging the shore as tight as possible, often get a boost from the eddy current as the main current flowed past us just a few feet away. We even went in the worst direction which meant we had to fight the current longer (but arrived at the desired lunch spot right on time).
And yes, the rumor is true, I used a Greenland stick for part of the paddle. Wasn't the first time and won't be the last.