As an HGV driver in the dim, distant past, I have lost count of the number of crossings on the southern corridor that experienced similar types of weather.
STs Patrick And Killian were 1/3 to 1/2 the size of Europe and ploughed through H**L and very high waters to and from France in the early seventies and into the eighties with many, many hours 'heave to' off port(s) for the swell to subside enough to attempt docking.
I remember well the outstanding facilities of the 'big white telephone' system which was a lifesaver in many cases.
They really don't make ships of that calibre any more.
PS, I'm on a return trip from Rosslare to Cherbourg returning from Roscoff in May as a 'one off' to Italy as a nostalgic trip during which I hope to recall 'The Good Old Days'. The old F89-320 has now been replaced by a more modest FH-540.