For a little daysail like that I always try to plan things so that I go upwind on the way out, particularly if I have guests on board. That way, I should always be able to fetch the mouth of my home port sailing more or less downwind w/o tacking or gybing. Granted, where I sail this is probably a bit easier since the prevailing winds blow onshore. But, my aim is to do all the "hard" sailing on the outbound leg(s) and have a relaxing broad reach back home.
Excuse the arm-chair quarterbacking (or is that quarterdecking?), but if you had sailed a starboard tack, close-hauled or maybe a bit free (more or less to the southwest) on your outbound leg, and kept adjusting your course as the wind veered more to the north, your return leg would have still been a reach coming home. You also would have avoided crossing that shoal (which I'm guessing was getting pretty choppy as the wind piped up). If the wind had veer more to the south, rather than the north, you would have had an even easier time getting home.
Never forget them. Do something to prevent it from happening again.
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