RE: Bring-Home cruise
Going down Long Island Sound will give you much more protected water than a route south of the island and will also give you more options for anchorages. Besides, it's kind of fun going down the East River through NYC -- just time your passage through Hell Gate so you are running with the tide and be prepared for lots of traffic.
After Irene, we anchored in Sandy Hook then did a straight shot to Atlantic City -- about 10-11 hrs. at 7.5 knots. There are other inlets, but they are subject to shoaling and I didn't want to be the first one trying them out after the hurricane. We spent the next night at Cape May, then the next day we went through the Cape May canal, caught a favorable tide up Delaware Bay , went through the Chesapeake-Delaware Canal and anchored in Bohemia River (another long day, but Irene had messed up our schedule).
Congratulations on your new purchase and good luck on your trip south.