Absolutely smack, the irony is that the gulf presents some of huge most challenging sailing on the east coast, and it's the first thing you hit!
In 1987, when I was in my twenties, me and four of my buddies learned why you don't cross the gulf stream with a north wind.
We were young, and tough, and ready to go, and we took a Morgan 38 foot from Ft. Lauderdale to Bimini in a 20 knot north wind. To this day, it is still the most miserable time I have ever had in a sailboat. I didn't think we were going to die, but I would have been okay if we had I was puking my guts up so bad.
Think 12 foot waves, so steep that when we hit the bottom of the crest, the waves would wash over the boat back to the mast and past. When we finally got to Bimini (we crossed at night), and had to wait for light to go in the tricky channel there, I actually thought about jumping in and trying to swim to Bimini, just to get on some dry land.
It really is as bad as they say. I've been in much higher wind, and much higher waves, father offshore, that weren't nearly as uncomfortable. It looked and felt like we were in a giant washing machine.
On the other hand, I've made that crossing, and didn't even spill my Coke can sitting on the cockpit seat beside me, when I did what the people who know, said to do.