You all are awesome and I am actually taking notes. I had enough warm beer in China. I'll use de-boxed bags of crap like Franzia as moveable ballast.
Going solo, I will probably leave Homestead around first light and do the Gulf stream by daylight. If I can see what water I'm getting into I can know better when to hold on!
Many boats leave 4am or so. from experience I can tell you you don't want to pull in the Bimini at dusk
I would suggest buying Explorer Chartbooks for the areas you intend to cover.
Most accurate of all Bahama mapping.Lots of good narrative to help plan your crossing and includes practically all the advice given in this forum except maybe sleeping on your beer. I would suggest a waterbed for your wine. Have fun _ be safe.
The one thing I have re-learned from CF is don't think in terms of "specific times" as opposed to "windows of opportunity". I haven't even left yet and a friend is trying to nail me down on when I'll be where......?
I told him "shoot, I may not get out of Biscayne Bay for all I know."
And, another piece of advice I acted on, purchasing a Tiller Pilot.