I think you kinda' answered your own question. The conditions you describe produce the results you saw. You can suck it up and "enjoy it" or cheat.snip...
Okay ... it drove me flat-out insane. ...snip But God, it took forever and was way too much work.
Don't say 'fire up the damn motor' -- that's cheating.
(BTW, our trip also included 25 kts and short-period chop running 90 degrees to the swell ... but that at least made sense....)
Due to its shallow depth and long fetch when winds are from the north or south (and they are one or the other about 90% of the time), the Chesapeake is renowned for the short, steep chop that whips up when a strong wind opposes the tide. Many times you'll have a light air day after a few days of wind like that, and it will produce the absolutely miserable conditions you were dealing with. When it does, all you can do is stay in the anchorage/at dock, suffer the slattering or motor to where you need to get to. We've done several races in those condtions and they were something close to torture. Any time you got the boat moving upwind, you'd soon slam into a big wave and spend agonizing minutes until the boat got going again, just to repeat it. Downwind, its constant trim and ease, trying to keep some speed as the sails fill and collapse. Like you say, "God it takes forever and is way too much work".
I wish I had time to always choose the "pure" choice, but "I got to be at work on Monday" so, its iron genny for me when I encounter those conditions.