Weather SURPRISE out at SEA
It sounds like you were out there with a knowledgable crew and skipper. Many of these squall can contain enormous winds and they often contain wind that is moving very vertically making knockdowns harder to avoid. Being on a boat with a good crew it is easier to try different ideas to see what works. You saw a crew and skipper thinking on their feet, adjusting the boat and sailing techniques to the conditions and actually being pretty conservative in such acts as dropping the mainsail to jibe. (A more cavalier skipper might have jibed with the mainsail up or risked a tack. Sail handling in those conditions are especially tricky but it sounds like a good crew as well.) You had the chance to see how an experienced crew handled a difficult situation and I think that you can walk away with lessons that will be with you for years.
Thanks for telling your story,