(I'm not sure I should say that out loud)
I sailed the Southern California waters in the 80s.. ( In fact, a trip aboard a friend's Cal 2-24 to Catalina was the reason I decided to move there!)
The winds are mostly gentle and consistent, and the sea life sure is great. I had many greetings from dolphins, was harassed by a sea lion, and stalked by sharks. I also had a gray whale surface 50 feet off my transom.
I think that once you get your boat, you'll get to see so much more as you will be traveling slower. It's just a wonderful place to sail. And, eventually, you'll get used to being stalked by sharks.
I think that your boat purchase decision may be dependent on what size slip you can get. I understand it's still pretty crowded and expensive there.
I'll bet some of the locals will chime in on what the best way is to get a slip. When I bought my boat in Marina Del Rey, the slip was transferrable to me, which was critical, as I planned to be a "sneak-aboard".
At any rate, welcome, and we are glad to have you!
1987 CS 36 Merlin "Kyrie"
"They drove a dump truck full of money up to my house. I'm not made of stone!" -Krusty the Clown