...which I suspect has been sustained over time because Pacific Coast sailors find themselves down in Central America
, conclude it's time to go home, discover that conditions aren't inviting but choose to do so anyway.
In truth, saavy cruising sailors are commuting south each Fall and returning each Spring without much ado, and have been doing so for a long time. Oh, it takes some seasonal planning and some weather watching, but this is far less demanding (in time, wear & tear, cost and effort) than heading out for Hawaii.
A friendly and interesting way to confirm this is to drop in at Downwind Marine
in San Diego
and have a nice chat. They have been advising southbound sailors for some decades now. You'll want to do that anyway; they are a wonderful resource for parts
and other logistical challenges, plus a good local source of regional weather info, for the Central American gringo cruiser.
A Delta Captain
I know requested a home base change from Tampa to San Diego so that, before retirement
, he and his wife could experience the SoCal lifestyle. He took a five-week vacation
and made the entire trip via the Canal in that time period; had a great time along the way, too. And he did it in a sistership to our WHOOSH, a Pearson
, hardly a svelte, weatherly sailboat. But he understood weather, including how those infamous winds off the Mexican and Nicauraguan coasts are in fact fed by the Caribbean
Trades (monitor Caribbean
wx f'casts to get Pacific Cent'l American conditions), and he picked the right time of year to make the run.
If you want to read up on the 'Baja Bash', Latitude 38 is one excellent source of info, altho' it takes a lot of issues to distill out all the fine points. Another is to read the John Rains guide on making the run from Miami
; he & his wife deliver principally power boats on this route all year and he presents the weather and seasonal conditions accurately.
This is really no different than the 1,000 NM run that East Coast
sailors do each year in the hundreds, as they work their way S and E, against the E-SE Trades, when heading to the Eastern Caribbean
chain from Florida
. In fact, the Winter Trades are more relentless than the Mexico-California conditions can be, yet the trip can be enjoyable and uneventful if one knows how to get and use good sources of weather and slows down to do what's easy rather than what might appear to be quick.