We sailed down the California
Coast twice, once in January and the other in June. The sail in the winter actually felt warmer than in the summer. That's not to say that either one was warm. Whatever the season, it's usually best to go south as quickly as possible. It gets you well below the high so you can count on more reliable winds and it's WARMER. I did a Solo Transpac this past summer and didn't get out of my layered clothing
and foulies till I was half way to Hilo. The high stayed north last summer so the fastest route
was the rhumbline from SF to Hilo. Didn't get to the latitude of San Diego
, where water
temp finally got above 60 degrees, till the 7th day of a 15 day passage
. Sure felt good to shed those stinky cold weather
clothes. It didn't get really comfortable till I was down below 25 degrees.
The winds in the winter can be rather erratic. There are often short periods of westerlies and from other direction than the tradewinds usual NE flow. It's not that the trades won't be there, it's just that they aren't there all the time. When the trades blow, they can really blow. Pilot chart says force 4 but force 5 is more like it. On our sail up from the Marquesas
got in these very strong trades which made for an exhilerating ride. Winds of that strength can build up some pretty spectacular following seas and make for great surfing on the way here. There are a few storms that come through but they almost never get above force 5 and/or last more than a couple of days. Believe Mike Fossl's experience was more the exception than the norm. There may be stronger winds further south if last summer was any indication. I had force 3, light trades for my whole sail. Another boat that left Mexico
a little after me got hit by force 5 trades on the first part of the trip and broke some gear
. You should have a pretty easy trip. Just be sure your Auto Pilot can handle surfing in 10' plus following seas.