Re: DDW and bailing out
I think it's great that you are out the learning and doing. It's the only way. Mistakes happen along the way, it's ok. It's part of it.
Ill disagree respectfully, with your lessons. Nothing wrong with sailing ddw at all and nothing wrong with wing and wing when you do. There are surely times when wing and. It downwind does not feel safe. But I would not eliminate it f rom your bag of tricks.
If I understand correctly your buddy's decided to gybe the boat. The first suggestion would be to learn how to gybe safely, and the first rule there is communication. Everyone on board needs to be aware, and ready. And everyone needs to know what to expect and what they are expected to do during the gybe.
Also if conditions are very rough you can consider "an exaggerated tack". So instead of a gybe, you can turn the other direction and tack through the wind, 270 degrees or more. It's much more benign. Not very racer-like but safe.
We all get caught in conditions and situations that push our limits. It's a great way to learn. I'd say that you done good.
1977 Bristol 29.9