Re: Reassurance and your thoughts?
"enjoy the experience and learn slowly about our boat and the techniques req'"
.... this is what it is all about. Go for it! For those of us who did not grow up sailing, this is what we all end up doing. If you are reasonably intelligent, read everything you can about sailling, including on this forum, and take it slowly you can and will do this.
Chuckles and others have it right... safety is number one, make sure all crew members are having fun, start out on pleasant, sunny, light wind days and go from there.
We bought our 1980 Seafarer 30 in 2006. Total newbies. Read a lot. Took a 3 day course on our own boat, with a woman instructor, which was invaluable. She taught us basic maintenance, safety, how to anchor and dock, etc. ON OUR BOAT, just the two of us. That was the beginning.
In 2009, we sold that boat and bought our current Caliber 35 LRC... by then, we knew what we wanted in a boat, what we valued and what didn't matter to us.
We have both taken ASA courses, and done bareboat chartering in several places in the Caribbean. This adds to your knowledge base and confidence. Sailing different boats, and navigating in unknown waters are learning opportunities.
Go out and sail every chance you get. You will make mistakes and go through "scary" times, but the feeling of accomplishment when you "figure it out" is half the fun. Err on the side of being overly cautious, at least at first.
We wish you fair winds, and many wonderful days of sailing!