As a first-time DM, my biggest concern was that I did not know how to structure encounters—what types of challenges could the party handle? what would be a useful flow of action? what types of treasure would “typical” opponents at a given level carry?
I took advantage of the free adventure downloads from the Wizards site, and used elements of three separate adventures – all involving missing ships – to piece together the events of the initial adventure:
Wreck Ashore by Robert Wiese
Bad Light by Owen K.C. Stephens
Shoals of Intrigue also by Robert Wiese