Tropical storm Henri stayed at sea as it moved up the East Coast yesterday, barely interfering with late-season vacationers at Virginia and Maryland resorts.

Henri, which was about 80 miles east of Ocean City at midnight, posted winds up to 50 miles an hour at sea, but closer to land its winds were only 25 to 35 miles an hour. The storm was moving north at 10 miles an hour, headed toward New England.

The only noticeable effect in the Washington area, according to forecaster Harold Hess at the National Weather Service, was cloudiness, dampness and occasional drizzle.

"It shouldn't cause any trouble as long as it continues to move north," added forecaster Larry Wenzel.

At Virginia Beach, Va., city police reported "a few sprinkles," but no danger to boating, and at Ocean City, Md., police noted a little rain, a slightly rough surf and a 10-knot wind along the boardwalk in the late afternoon.

Meanwhile, forecasters said Gloria, the fifth hurricane of the Atlantic season, bypassed a string of Caribbean islands yesterday, but could still cause problems if it strengthened.

The presence of Gloria in the Caribbean caused the sailing ship Godspeed to divert its course. The wooden square-rigger, which is reenacting the 1607 voyage from England to Virginia that brought the first permanent English settlers to America, was heading toward Puerta Plata, on the northern shore of the Dominican Republic. It left San Juan, Puerto Rico, five days ago on the final leg of a trip that began in London April 30.