I use to deliver commercial boats built in S.Cal to Alaska. I also commercial fished north of SF to Canada. And I ran coastal tugs.
South of SF I consider the ocean to be mostly flat. North of SF you have NW swells of various height from spring to fall. When a storm goes thru and blows from the SW, it beats down the NW swell. Later after the storm is past, a strong NW wind blows and rebuilds the swell. Between the big swells and the storm there is usually about 5+ days of good cruising weather. The swell is worse close to major headlands and in shallow water (under 100 fathoms), so I usually travel about 25 miles out. Also traveling in deep water avoids all the crab pot buoys. The further north you travel, the more westerly the swells become. Crescent City, CA is the last port going north without a bar to cross. Bars get closed in really bad weather, so watch the weather and plan each days trip.
If you're not in a hurry and can take the time waiting in ports for better weather it can be a pleasant trip. If you're in a hurry, it can be terrible.