I teach on Pearson 26's. If well maintained they are a great, solid vessel that I would feel comfortable in heading to Block I. from NB.
The Trip from Block to the Vinyard is over 50 miles, so I'd pick my wind and weather carefully. Not that the trip over from Newport couldn't be a challenge.
I haven't sailed the P 22 but if it's similarly constructed it would be more solid than a catalina 22. I've sailed the C 22's and enjoyed them on the Bay.
It wouldn't be my choice for sailing to the islands on a regular basis.
I have no doubt that you could handle a 26 foot pearson in short order, it's not too big.
The issue would be mooring slips costs as others have mentioned, and whether or not you're up for that expense.
Good luck, happy sailing.