I'm not going to even enter the "is it possible" discussion. Although, I say it is with the right preparation and possibly a different - but similar size boat.
What I do want to point out is that learning
to sail ANY boat is like learning
to walk. First you get up off the ground, then you have to take a few steps.
Just take your current
boat out and have some fun with it. Don't bother trying to conquer anything, or hit the highest mark right out of the gate.
What makes trips like you first mentioned possible is preparation. You'll need to go out in Biscayne Bay and sail around until you are very VERY comfortable. Go out in some bad weather
(not Ernesto... but squalls). Sail close to home to find out how the boat handles. Always carry a VHF radio
, a life jacket (worn if you are single
handing), and plenty of water
and supplies just in case you are stranded for some reason.
Successful adventurers plan out their attempts and make several test runs. That's really all you have to do.
Go out and try some small stuff first, but do it in bad conditions once you are confident in your boat handling abilities. If you get out in some really bad stuff and it scares you, you'll know the boat isn't up for it. The boat will pretty much let you know.
Also, as everyone says... the Gulf Stream
is a fickle little stretch of fast moving water. It can get extremely rough there - like being in a squall in Biscayne Bay. This can happen even on a clear day! It all depends on the wind's direction and how strong the current is.
But definitely get out there in that boat and do everything you can while staying close to shore. You can get in some real rough stuff and trouble even in Biscayne Bay. Give it a shot. Then research a heck of a lot more about what it means for a boat to be a "bluewater boat." You'll need something with some of these characteristics to make your passage
to the Bahamas.
Oh, and I'm not sure if your boat will float if swamped. If it doesn't... make sure it does before you go out and experiment
in rough weather.
You don't want to end up having it sink to the bottom of Biscayne Bay leaving you stranded the first time you are knocked down.
Also, I should add that it's just like learning to build a car or a house. You need to learn framing, then electrical
, then plumbing
, foundation pouring, etc... to build a house. There are more skills involved in sailing since you have no opportunity to sub-contract your responsibilities. It's all up to you.
But remember... you can't conquer the sea like you can conquer things on land. The sea ALWAYS wins when you approach it like that.