Some things I have learned:
Be really careful about hypothermia.
Practice reefing and then practice again and again. As a beginning sailor I had a tendency to put up with too much weather helm, which actually means the rudder is acting as a break and which tires your arms and shoulders. If you are wondering if you need to reef, it is time to reef. Your boat will stay upright better and the helm will be more balanced. There are other sail trim adjustments that can flatten your main and reduce the heeling forces, but reefing is a fundamental skill.
Learn to heave to.
Main thing is to keep going out and practicing.
good advice .. thank you
In my enthusiasm .. I failed to stay warm ..
Somewhere in my mind .. I had registered that because the sails were old and tired .. too much sail wouldn't be a problem .. lesson learned ..
I need to understand what to sail .. under what conditions .. and yes .. learn and practice to reef ..
and I WILL keep practicing ...