I'm also new to sailing having only had my Catalina 22 since April, 2009. I keep my boat in Gulf Breeze at Pier One Marina in front of the Bridge. I've met some experienced sailors there that have been very helpful and eager to assist when you need it. Let me know if you want to take the boats out with us sometime.
Welcome to the forum and good to see some "Westerners" around.
While I occasionally get out and sail here with friends, My boat is in the West Indies where I'll be joining her in December for an extended sail for an undetermined time. We still may cross paths one day.