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

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A north wind of 35 knots while crossing Albemarle Sound? No, thank you

Dr. David Scott first heard about the storm that came through Fredericksburg yesterday while he and I were on the waters of eastern North Carolina. The storm was expected to bring welcome relief from the heat, as it did, but he was less interested in that aspect of it than in the wind.

Dr. David Scott aboard Traveller

On Tuesday, the storm was said to be approaching from the north with winds gusting to 25 knots. Later, that number was revised to 35 knots, or 40 miles an hour.

Scott wanted no part of that forecast and moved forward his schedule. He knew that if we stuck to his original plan, we would be traveling north across Albemarle Sound yesterday as the storm hit that area. Albemarle Sound is big–55 miles long and up to 14 miles wide–so we would be facing a strong wind on a body of water capable of producing high waves. The combination might not be unsafe, he said, but it would be slow and unnerving. “It just makes more sense to be in smaller water,” he said.

So we moved a little quicker and arrived in Coinjock, N.C., on Wednesday and Norfolk yesterday afternoon, just ahead of the storm. Scott docked at Waterside, and I rented a car and returned home to Fredericksburg.

He will resume his trek on Sunday or Monday, with his wife, Anne, as his first mate. With a little luck, they will arrive in Kinsale in Westmoreland County on Sunday, Sept. 25. And with that he will have completed the 6,000-mile Great Loop.

Someone asked me today what I will remember about the trip. I think what sticks in my mind is standing by the helm with the wind blowing in my face, using the binoculars to look for buoys and help find our way. It was a blast.    

(The five prior posts in this series can be found here, here, here, here and here.)