Just came across this. You look at this as something big and exciting, I look at it as just another day sailing but in different conditions.
No, see Den that's just it! Many would call that a "bad" decision. I won't. It was a choice to sail in challenging conditions for completely valid reasons. And you did great! THAT'S BFS!
I'm convinced that the reason you didn't have to punch your EPIRB is that you have your Magma safely tucked under the bimini. Drogues schmogues - THAT'S actually the key to heavy weather sailing!
Now c'mon, dude, spill the beans! Tell me about the snorkel!