Thanks for the reply and the advice.
We'll be sailing 'Summer Snow' (that's her current name, not sure yet about changing or keeping it) along the Northeastern U.S. coast. Right now she is in Mystic Connecticut, and we can keep her there for the remainder of the season, so we'll be sailing in Fishers Island Sound and probably into Long Island Sound and Block Island Sound. Mystic is about a 3 hour drive for us because we both live in NYC, but I've heard from a lot of people that it is a really great area to sail, with lots of variety in day trips and cruises. Next summer we'll have to decide whether to keep her there or bring down closer to home (which would mean sailing mostly in Western Long Island Sound).
Summer Snow is not the centerboard version, and I am a little nervous about the draft- there are a lot of rocks in Fishers Island Sound and she's been run aground in the past (with substantial damage). I think I will just try to err on the side of caution by keeping to the water that is deep enough even at spring tide, and as you said, paying attention to position on the chart and the depth sounder). From looking at the chart, it does seem like most of the rocks and shoals are marked with becons or lights, so that should help.
I will practice docking (a lot)... The slip she's in is right near the channel, so it shouldn't be too dificult a situation (although I am sure its always difficult at first).
Too bad you couldn't bring Waymar to Guyana... seems like it would be a beautiful place to sail. I look forward to hearing about your projects. Are you going to start them this winter or next spring/ summer? I'll post about anything I am working on too... I'll post some pictures too, after next weekend.