You shouldn't sweat this at all. Squalls can hit you with only a few seconds' notice, and trying to reef during the squall can be more hazardous than just heading up and feathering enough to keep steerageway, which you did.
Sounds like you did fine, getting hit by a really sudden squall isn't going to be pretty no matter what. You handled it "pretty" enough under the circumstances.
I've been in New Orleans 30 years, but Marblehead and Salem is where I grew up and learned to sail. Glad you're enjoying the lovely North Shore.