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What’s it like on the Monterey Bay from November through March?


Typically, the winds settle down between storms and we can get the most amazing, sparkling clear days with tranquil sea conditions. It’s actually quite enjoyable, sailing along in light winds, checking out the fall and winter sea life, especially when the California Grey Whales start migrating to Mexico in December.

Our first pre-winter storm system moved into Santa Cruz recently. Although we embrace this precipitation as it replenishes our reservoirs and parched landscape, it’s not going to stop us from going sailing. For those enthusiastic sailors that want to get out and enjoy mild winds and Grey Whales migrating to Mexico, it’s a good time to evaluate our winter sailing conditions.

Pacific Sailing highly recommends studying the weather conditions emphatically during storm season. Don’t worry; we wouldn’t let a bareboat charter or class happen unless the conditions are quite suitable for safe and comfortable sailing.

There’s no cancellation fee in the winter. Typically, our winter storms come from the South, which is the direction our Harbor Entrance is facing. The result of the storm waves crashing into the entrance brings in tons of sand, which needs to be continually dredged throughout the winter. Usually our dredge can keep up, but there are times where the swell at the entrance makes it too risky to leave the Harbor, even on a beautiful day.

At the top right section of our new home page (, if you click resources, there is a live web cam on top of the Crows Nest restaurant pointed at the Harbor Entrance. You also have the links to all of the NOAA weather sites, satellites, tides, swell, and wind predictions.