Actually our path was from the Southwest Channel just below Egmont, to Pickens Pass (Pensacola). Took 2 days, almost exactly. Left late AM.
Boat is a 40' catamaran
. We sailed quite conservatively. Speeds ranged from 3 to 10kt.
We left Tampa Bay in a southeasterly 15-20, which laid to about nothing, and then picked back up into the 20s from the east. Then we passed through a front and the wind
went exactly northwesterly, ergo the direction we were headed ;-) that's when we saw the 3kt, motoring into that. The wind
later clocked north and northeast and went all the way into the high 20s with some 30 gusts.
Given the various directions from which the wind came, you might imagine the sea state was, well, confused. Whilst the wind was steady southerly I guess it was 5-8 ft, and then about 3-4 ft when it was on the nose, and as it picked up out of the north-northeast, we did see occasional 10-footers.
It was my first crossing, and the thing I noticed was how short the wave periods were. We brought along a very experienced friend who remarked that the waves were normal for the Gulf.
It was a very kewl experience. We had porpoise with us almost the whole time. The moon was beautiful, and when it set, so were the stars.