A little background: Sailing about 6yrs and singlehand more often than not. Mostly self taught by reading and experience. Last year a buddy and I were out on my Catalina 22. Light winds so I had the genoa up (I almost never use it. The boat balances better in most conditions with smaller jib). Wind died, then piped up from almost 180 degrees. We enjoyed a fast adrenaline charged run wing/wing right on the edge for a while. Soon we were approaching skinny water and something had to be done. Before I could say anything, my buddy said, "here" and reached for the boom, bringing the main around as I yelled "NOOO!!!!".
We went over hard, with me standing on the port cockpit coaming near the bulkhead (looking for where the water was going to enter first), and he almost directly above me clinging to the pushpit railing. Little water entered, boat righted itself. I had a newfound respect for my little boat. I immediately changed to a smaller headsail and reefed the main to head back. I realize the wing/wing was a bad idea (both sails on same side of boat would have prevented the whole thing), but we were really caught as the windspeed increased almost instantly.
So, question is:
How does one bail out of a dead downwind situation when faced with limited sea room?
Lessons taken from this experience: 1. Don't sail dead downwind and 2. Never wing/wing.