..I told you what I have and would do based on experience. I would stay at the helm
as long as necessary to get out of the storm or find a harbor.
Here's where we disagree. Let's assume a harbour is out of reach, you will be less safe on deck
for long periods due to the risk of solid water
taking you off the deck
, or making bad decisions due to the inevitable fatigue. It is possible to attend to the boat so that it takes the attitude you want (without an autopilot which will not handle the conditions) then go below. The risk of major knockdown or a roll will increase slightly as will the risk of collision
, but your overall level of safety
will be much, much higher. If you roll you are below decks ( on deck in a roll and you are pretty much dead). In the southern ocean the chance of collision
If you run for harbour and try to make an unfamiliar entrance while befuddled by lack of sleep you are taking a big risk, not worth it.
If you are contemplating sailing in a bad area you need to learn the skills necessary to stop your boat and make it safe, you must have everything below decks bolted or screwed down, even a book flying across the cabin
in a 360 becomes a lethal weapon, when the roll is caused by a wall of breaking water
it is very fast, you are over and back before you have time to think, as well as which the wave may have carried you 10-15 boatlengths in a second or two, the acceleration and deceleration is so great that it is impossible to hold yourself steady, even down below, the only relatively safe position is in a quarter berth or under the table ( I think I already said that somewhere, time to shut up)