6-9mo cruise from Vancouver down Westcoast
I''ll add some more on Latitude 38 ... Latitude 38 has also put out a "first timers guide to mexico'' which includes a couple of basic iteneraries ... they also sponsor the ''baja haha'' a an cruising race from san diego to Cabo St Lucas for boats heading down after hurricane season ... it''s usually in november, but starts the last week of oct this year as i recall.
6 - 9 months is probable a little short, if your planning a return trip too. The basic trick for leaving from Vancouver is to leave the northwest in late summer before the gales start to sweep the north pacific ... usually beginning in november, but they can come in october and sometimes even late september ... conventional wisedom is to leave vancouver by late august to arrive in souther california by late september, then stay in california til november to miss the hurricanes before heading further south
there is some beautiful cruising along the oregon coast, but aug/sept is a prime time for fog thru there (may i suggest investing in radar if you have not already done so)you need to be pretty flexible on your itinerary or you may find yourself choosing between a gale offshore or fog along the coast. ... once your down to San Francisco things do mellow out a little, but there can be a fair amount of fog there too.
As for coming back, we did it in several stages the following summer ... Baja to San Diego, SD to San Francisco, SF to Astoria, then home to seattle. Each stage included some beating into strong headwinds ... before you go you''ll need to know what your tolerance is for life at 30 degrees in a pounding sea, or you may find yourselves trying to sell your boat in La Paz.