BTW - I recommend heaving-to from a port tack;this puts you on a starboard tack, making you stand-on to more vessels.
Now THAT'S a great tip! I hadn't thought of that one before. Thanks Jack!
As for the other stuff, I too have been amazed at the effectiveness of reefing - and especially heaving to. We've work on the latter as a MOB technique and have gotten fairly good at it.
Granted, I always reef "late", but it does make for some mellower sailing when I need to squeeze another lime into my D&S.