Last but not least your scenario really points out the value of situational awareness and being able to put together a plan on a moments notice.
Actually, a moment's notice is a bit late. We're talking about it now, so we're all ahead of the game. A good skipper always has a bunch of "what-if's" rolling around at any given time.
Why I believe that the summer thunderstorms can't be outrun:
In the '70s, we were in the Great Egg Harbor bay with full sail and motor trying to beat a storm and get to our marina in my dad's Catalina 27. We were 1 mile short when it hit with resulting wind and rain. The boat went over to 30 degrees-ish and I went over the side while trying to dose the genoa. I hung on to a sheet and eventually hauled myself back on board. NOT cool.
Why I don't run for shore:
Entering Smith Point at the mouth of the Potomac ahead of a storm, the sky blackened and we were crossing the vast 2.5 nm shoal from Smith Point Light, I had 7' of water under me (we drew 4'4"), lightning all around, and rising wind. My lovely wife turned to me and asked if I was nervous.
By the time we entered harbor, it was a mess and docking was much more complicated than if I'd just stayed outside.
Why it's folly to think that a storm isn't aiming for you:
I took a non-sailing coworker out. We saw a storm developing and I convinced myself that it would pass north of us. It didn't and we were hit with 25 kts of wind and rain while under full sail. While the wind speed wasn't so bad, it was more than we were set up for. I got the main single, then double reefed, then doused and the genoa brought into 50% before we had everything under control. The guest was petrified and to this day thinks that I was trying to kill him. Sloppy on my part and I knew better. I just promoted him, so maybe that compensates.
Why I stay out and reef:
In the 2008 MD Governor's Cup Race, shortly after dawn, the entire Chesapeake Bay north of the Potomac River went black. And it was rolling down on us. Hatches were already dogged, we shut the companionway, double reefed the main, and set the 100%. The wind hit at about 30 kts and off we went. After 30 minutes, it was over, we shook out the reefs, and ended up drifting to a classic Gov Cup finish. Preparation, cool, thinking, and execution were key. The fact that I had 7 sets of hands was irrelevant. We've done it with just the two of us.