Re: Can I make this trip as a novice
I purchased my 1976 Pearson 28 in Houston and after a few days doing repairs and checkouts, sailed it solo to Corpus Christi via the ICW. I don't know your waters, but if you decide to motor all the way and have a P28-1 then you are going to be on the tiller the entire distance unless you have an autopilot or are gifted with the tiller tamer. I had to manage a narrow water way with heavy barge traffic, swing bridges, and locks, as well as open bays. I spent two nights on the hook and one in a marina. I had charts, depth, log, vhf and hand held gps. And I sailed most of the way, even in the ICW, even while passing barges. You now have two P28 owners telling you how they did it, so you know it can be done.
Good luck with whatever you decide and enjoy your boat. It is robust and simple. Unless it has been heavily modified you should be able to handle it well with great ease.
By the way, the helm balances nicely when the sails are eased and you won't have to be a slave to the tiller if you sail.