Ithaca Bound

Looking back on the whole experience, there's no way that the trip could have gone more perfectly. The way things unfolded seemed almost scripted - providential, in fact. The whole family was able to make the trip - mom, dad, my brother, and my wife - and we were eager with anticipation. The drive through Upstate New York was relaxing and scenic as we joked around and dreamed about the possibility of finally owning a Cape Dory 36. As we neared Johnson Boatyard and Linear, I cued the video camera and began filming as my mom and dad walked ahead, hand in hand, toward the boat.

As we approached Linear, I was torn between documenting the experience on tape or taking it all in without the inconvenience of squinting through a black and white viewfinder. I resisted the urge to set the camera aside and continued recording, knowing that we'd want the tape later to review the boat.

Despite the video camera's monochromatic screen, Linear was beautiful. Her classic sweeping lines, her bronze ports, cutter rig, sheer and counter-swept stern were graceful and elegant. Below, extensive teak and a well-designed layout promised comfortable and functional cruising. Like giddy children on Christmas day, we opened bins, lifted floor boards, inspected lockers, flipped switches, climbed onto bunks, traced fuel and water liens . . . and knew we'd do anything ot make her ours. We were in love. Linear was a dream. Virtually completely original, she was a blank slate, ready for loving hands to turn her into a member of the family. Summoning our restraint and maturity as best we could, we forced ourselves to continue our survey, carefully examining the engine, rigging, sails, through hulls, chainplates, and spars - knowing all along that she was the boat.

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