Re: Cruising Skills/Practice
I'd add "learn your boat systems" - and I mean all of them, electrical, electronics, plumbing, engine, drive train, rigging, everything. Sure you can learn it on the way - nothing like learning how to replace a fuel pump while drifting onto a rock ledge to speed up the learning curve.
Take books on all the subjects with you, references help as you won't be able to discuss something that boogles your brain.
Learn what you can fix and what you can't, then make contingency plans and test them.
Lessons learned are opportunities earned.