You might check out opportunities on the Baha Ha Ha "race" from San Diego to Cabo St. Lucas leaving every year around the 1st of November. See http://www.baja-haha.com/
. I've heard this is usually a fairly "tame" (but perhaps not entirely "sane") first offshore experience and the schedule is reasonable fixed (wx permitting, of course). There's a link on the website to Latitude38 crew lists.