About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Riding with Miss Bardahl

David Scott on the Neuse River.

Dr. David Scott made a motion with his hands, the “safe” sign that an umpire might make on the baseball field. Scott was smiling, however, something an umpire would never do. He was describing not the fate of a  runner but the surface of the water around him.

“Glassy calm,” was the way Scott described the Neuse River, a beautiful blue, as far as you could see, calm enough to reflect the fluffy white clouds above.

“I don’t know what percentage of the time is like this, but it’s not much,” he said.

Today was the first day of my trip with Scott aboard his boat Traveller, and here’s hoping that today’s weather is an omen for the entire trip. We started this morning from Beaufort, N.C., and ended this evening 90 miles and four hours later in Washington, N.C. Much of that time was spent “on plane,” as Scott describes it, the speed of about 30 miles an hour at which his boat rises  from the water to travel on it  rather than through it.

Sunset on the Pamlico River.

It was a noisy delight, the kind of day that Scott savors. Many boating hours are spent in choppy water or crawling past endless waterfront houses and marinas, where “no wake” is the rule, he said. But maybe two or three times before on his Great Loop adventure, he’s had big, open water, like the Neuse, and the light, variable winds that make it possible to open ‘er up.

Riding with him reminded me of being a kid and watching the hydroplane races on the Potomac River. I was riding with Miss Bardahl.

(An earlier blog post with a link to an earlier story about Scott can be found here.)