Re: How to Proceed...
Hey Harborless - my apologies on being slow to respond to you, but on the idea of sticking to S. Fla or the Keys for this trip, I was thinking you would be more likely to be able to find work there, the options for sailing when you're not working are still awesome, evading hurricanes from there would be easier (and safer) because you don't have to cross the gulf stream or open ocean and, if a hurricane sneaks up on you and you can't sail away, you can always anchor the boat somehwere and take the bus to mainland. Plus, it's going to be a lot easier on your wallet. Charts are cheap, (heck, I have paper charts of the Keys I can loan you) and you're still in the US so no IC fees, food, fuel, and fun are cheaper, and if something breaks you can get parts and service fairly conveniently (join SeaTow or BoatUS if you aren't already a member).
If I had 8 weeks to spend on the boat in June and July, and didn't have to work, I would gunkhole around the Keys, shoot over to the Bahamas if a good weather window opened up, go to Ft.Jefferson, check out the Little Snake River and the southwest Florida coast, and just plain soak up some sun and enjoy time on the boat.
Pressing into the wind and current to get to a destination 1,300 miles away just doesn't sound like much fun to me, but I'm kind of a slacker that way.
Either way you go, I'm envious of your opportunity to go Cruising! I'll buy you a beer if you stop at Merritt Island as you go by.
1981 Endeavour 32
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"At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much." Robin Lee Graham