The Crossing

boat crossing.jpg

Mount Dora had its annual antique boat show this past weekend and while I am not much of a boating guy, that doesn’t mean I don’t have boating memories. Au contraire. I have many.

The first one that comes to mind was one of the first son-in-law/father-in-law bonding times I ever experienced. My father-in-law had a boat that he would take to the Bahamas every summer. He usually hired a captain to take the boat on the “crossing” from mainland USA into the Atlantic to the islands.

This one year, he decided to take the boat himself but needed a crew. His daughter and I were his choice. I accepted but had absolutely no idea what I had signed up for.

Because I had limited time before I had to go back to work, we felt pressured to attempt the crossing when the weather was not what we’d call optimal. There were pretty rough seas and the boat, which I before thought was huge, was being tossed around like a cork. And so was my stomach.

My wife, seeing my obvious discomfort, bravely went below decks to get me something to eat thinking it would somehow quell my seasickness. She came back a few minutes later, looking pretty green herself. In her hands was a bowl of pretzels soaked in dishwashing liquid. Apparently things below decks were getting tossed around too. We ate them anyway.

It took us much longer than we had planned but we eventually reached our destination where we promptly ran the boat aground on a sandbar. I was navigating. But at least we weren’t tossing about any more.

For some reason, that was the last time I was invited on my father-in-law’s boat. He sold it not too long after that trip.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio of Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories. We digitalize film, video, audio, photos, negatives and slides to preserve them for future generations. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit