Mike...I am a fan of the C30...but it really is marginal for what you want to do. I don't think you need a "bluewater" boat (though that would be best) to succeed in your plans but I'd like to see you in somthing built a bit more robustly than the Cat30 as there will be lot of beating to windward in 8ft seas as normal weather on your proposed route. Check the bluewater boats sticky at the top of the boat buying forum.
No longer posting. Reach me by PM!