Tiring day on Jeroboam. Squall lines started coming through pre-dawn so I spent most of the day reefing/unreefing as wind speed and direction moved all over the map. Gusts were into the 40s and sometimes the gauge read zero. At one point I had the chute and big staysail out moving the boat very well in 8-10 knots of breeze then the wind completely died and started to fill in from the exact opposite direction. I got the chute down just in time for the wind to change 180 degrees again, back to its original direction and build to 35 knots in about a minute. The staysail got trashed but nothing I can't patch up tonight.
The next big system is forecasted to ramble over my position Monday and I don't think I'll be able to get north of this one which does not bode well. I think the best I might be able to do is go through the eye which is going to be brutal on my progress because it's beginning to elongate west to east, perhaps reaching a diameter of a couple hundred miles by the time it gets here. Granted it's moving pretty quickly but still, that's a long time to be wallowing around in the center of a low. I'll fight hard to get north of it but if it starts tracking even just a little further north, the game is up.
The boats to the north are well positioned to ride some serious wind on this one and will afford them some solid separation between the class 2 boats chasing them. I've been able to close on them a little bit the past few days so it'll be discouraging to see those gains dematerialize. Tamarind sacrificed some forward progress for a northerly position, presumably because he's confident he'll regain all that ground and more on this next system but I'm not sure the dividends will be that large. It will be interesting to see how Sunrise and British Beagle do on this next low. It looks like Sunrise made his move north earlier than British Beagle so he may be in a better position when it hits.