ONLY ON 3: Wilmington sailor charts new course

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Submitted: Thu, 11/22/2012 - 3:28am
Updated: Thu, 11/22/2012 - 2:25pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — As everyone prepares to sit down with family and friends for Thanksgiving, one man says he’s thankful to be alive this year.

We first introduced you to Greg Frucci last year, a Wilmington sailor who has defied nature and even death. He risked everything to sail alone hundreds of miles across the Atlantic at the start of hurricane season. Wednesday night, WWAY caught up with him.

Last June, Frucci set sail from Wilmington, headed to Portugal by himself in his thirty-foot sailboat.

“I got to a point in my life where I just wanted to take off,” Frucci says.

But several hundred miles out, Frucci was faced with a bad storm and twenty foot waves. Later he reached Bermuda feeling very lucky.

When he arrived back in Wilmington, Frucci says many who were his friends before drifted away and others said they knew he would fail.

“It effected me definitely but I ignored them,” Frucci says.

Last November Frucci flew back to Bermuda and sailed back to the Port City. But Frucci says he’s not done yet.

“I can’t wait to get back to sea because it’s peaceful out there,” he says.

Frucci says he still plans to sail to Portugal. He has also written a book about his life and travels entitled “Path of Three Hundred.”

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7 Comments on "ONLY ON 3: Wilmington sailor charts new course"

2015 years 8 months ago

Man attempts solo sail to Portugal. Fails. Only makes it as far as Bermuda. Several months later sails back to Wilmington. WWAY covers his story like he’s Ferdinand Magellan. Not only do they promote him on the outbound trip, they promote him for sailing back instead of continuing on to Portugal. They even convert nine days of sailing into a month on the water in a news piece. Now he’s promoting a book (loaded with a lot of New Age semi-pronouncemental blather and exaggeration) about his experiences. He’s not even sailing someplace right now. WWAY again covers him like he’s Ferdinand Magellan.

Two questions WWAY:
(1)Have you never heard of anyone sailing to Bermuda from here? Although kudos are in order, it’s really not that uncommon.
(2)Why do you keep promoting this blatant self promoter?

C’mon guys, you’re usually better than this.

2015 years 8 months ago

So, you read my book. Thank you. And by the way…nothing is exaggerated. If you were in fact with me, this you would know. Your Judgement of others is something which may always keep you angry. My wish for you is that you find a Peace someday as I found at Sea. I did not choose to be interviewed.. WWAY called me after I finally responded to all of the negativity from those like you.

Perhaps before you Judge anyone else…First…make sure You are Perfect.

Yes…I am a “Self-Promoter”. This about me, I Own…it is my Truth. I am an unknown Indie Author who has written a book about a real story with nothing in it which is false…the book is my Truth. Many small business owners, film makers, artists and writers like me have to self-promote in order to survive this world. What is your business? With your post here, you are helping me promote my book and I thank you for your efforts. I will be giving a talk about my experiences with the sail and dealing with people like you on December 13, 2012 beginning at 7:30 pm at Masonboro Yacht Club. I welcome your presence and take your comments and questions. I am not afraid of standing in my Strength and face your negativity.

From my latest post on my website:

One year ago today on November 28, 2011, I was sailing alone out of Bermuda bound for what I thought would be the Bahamas because the weather information I was given instructed me not to sail where I wanted to go. My final destination in my mind was going to be Wilmington, North Carolina, USA, where my dog, Lucky was waiting for me…the only reason I was sailing in that direction. I was thinking a year ago that I would have to sail to the Bahamas…cross over to Southern Florida near Miami and then sail up the coast to Wilmington. Weather changes in a way unknown to human predictions…this we all know. A few days later, while at sea hundreds of miles off the US coastline, I received a satellite message indicating I could turn my boat to the west and sail closer to my destination of Wilmington. Nine days later on December 6, 2011, I sailed into Masonboro Inlet near Wilmington. “Part III: The Challenge” of “Path of Three Hundred” is the story of the leg of the journey back to Wilmington from Bermuda.


From the chapter, “…day One to the West…Departure” of “Part III: The Challenge”, “Path of Three Hundred” pages 102-103

At around Noon on November 28, 2011, ten years to the day after his Father’s death at sea, Petah activated his SPOT device and set sail alone out of Bermuda bound not for North Carolina but for the Bahamas just off the coast of Florida. With winds of eighteen to twenty-five knots and six to eight foot seas, all from the northeast, Petah would have both at his back all day and into the night. Perfect for sailing great distances and sailing to the south of Bermuda.

Phoopa tossed the final dock line onto the deck of the Little She from the Customs Dock as Petah motored away saying, “Good sailing to you Petah…you will be fine.”

Two nights before and the day he sailed into St. Georges Harbor from Dockyard, Phoopa invited Petah and Captain John Lee over to his mother’s house for a late Thanksgiving Dinner. Neither John nor Petah had a Thanksgiving while in Bermuda. The gesture by Phoopa’s mother felt like a Gift from God. They ate like the hungry sailors they were, filling their bellies with more food than was comfortable. Home cooked turkey with all of the fixings by an ancient Bermudian woman who had been cooking her entire life. John and Phoopa played guitars in the night air and sang songs from what seemed like a forgotten culture while Petah listened joyfully.

“Why don’t you just follow me in the Kallista, with you in the Little She down to St. John, Virgin Islands, Petah? I would rather another boat be near by since I am sailing alone like you,” spoke John to Petah in between songs.

“If I didn’t have Lucky waiting for me back in Masonboro, I would. I could hang out there until next year and try for Portugal again someday, but I must go get my dog. He is the definition of unconditional Love and my best friend,” answered Petah to the atmosphere with a distant look on his face.

“It is best to sail south this time of year, Petah. Sailing west is not a good idea right now. You could follow John down to the Virgin Islands, leave the Little She there, fly back to Masonboro and bring Lucky back to St. John. Case closed,” spoke a smiling Phoopa with the confidence of an ancient Bermudian Soul.

“Bermudians keep saying this to me,” spoke Petah.

“From life experience, we know…listen with not just your ears,” spoke a smiling Phoopa.

Later that night, while the island was sleeping, Petah sat on the deck of the Little She and looked up into the sky staring at the stars in meditation. He freed his mind of desire. He said nothing to himself or anything else. He just sat there with his eyes open to what was above him. He did not think of where he would go or when he would leave. He did not think of any human he knew. He just sat there with his mind empty of thought. After a time, he saw in the southern sky what looked like an arrow-head pointing to something. Three stars created a triangular shape of three equal sides. Petah looked at the compass on the pedestal mounted in the cockpit of the Little She and noticed the apex of the triangle pointed downward to the horizon in the southwest.

“Interesting,” finally spoke Petah to the southern night sky.

He descended into the cabin and opened up the charts of the Atlantic Ocean he had been studying over the past three weeks. From where the Little She lay in Bermuda and following the direction of the triangle to the horizon, Petah calculated a compass direction using the charts. Southern Florida was where the arrow was pointing.

The next morning, Petah contacted the weather service he had been communicating with in New England and asked them where he should sail to if he set sail out of Bermuda in the next couple of days. They told him that if he did not go due south to the Virgin Islands, which would be the best direction, he could make it to the Bahamas before a cold front would arrive, wait a couple of days, then sail over to southern Florida where he could then sail up the coast to North Carolina. A very long journey of over two weeks. Going directly west to North Carolina was not an option at all given the weather conditions.

“The Bahamas it is then,” Petah whispered to his Little She.


The months prior to setting sail on November 28, 2011, and while I was in North Carolina waiting for Hurricane Season to end so that I could sail my boat again, many negative comments were made. About the boat, about me and about what I said I wanted to do. It happens to all of us at some point or another in our lives. People will tell us what we “should” do or “need” to do. Yet, we get messages from our Inner Voice about what is our Personal Way to Be. No one truly knows what we are capable of doing or thinking except the individual. Others will, from time to time, feel the need to spew their personal Belief Systems on us in order for them to feel safe. Is that really fair to You? If they do not want to do a thing…or they feel that what you are about to do does not jib with what they believe…so what? That is another human thinking…not You. It is You who is in control of You…not the other human…others can think whatever they wish and we cannot change another human…so just let them be as we wish for them to do to us.


From the chapter, “…Abandoned…” of “Part II: The Battle”, “Path of Three Hundred” page 88

At the end of the celebratory evening, Petah was dropped off at Refugia’s house where he was reunited with Lucky and the tired sailor slept in Peace with his best friend.

The next day, Petah saw the online television station blog comments of his return…

“Wow! What a complete and utter Fool! He quit just like a baby would do. What a pansy…LOL! I guess his daddy and sister were not with him in spirit after all huh?”

“I am glad to hear that the idiot Petah finally wised up and decided to stop this nonsense of sailing across the ocean alone. He was not prepared for something like this and should not have attempted it at all. He should just stay home, drink beer and watch TV. Dreams are for people who are weak. The ocean is not something which should be taken lightly like he did. He is a novice and he is not up to the level of seamanship like I am. I am an expert sailor and this would have never happened to someone like me. Plus the fact that the boat he was using is not made for what he was doing…it is simply the wrong kind of boat…it is a coastal cruiser at best and not an open ocean blue water vessel. Petah is stupid and he is certainly not a Captain…he should never refer to himself as one. I told everyone I feared we would never see him again, so I am glad to hear he is still alive.

But, at least he had the balls to try…I suppose that is something.”

“Gee…thanks, Petah…what a loser. With all the hoopla surrounding your little spiritual journey, you must feel like an idiot now, huh? We were all pulling for you to make it and you just quit. Now the entire planet knows you are a quitter. ‘Hey world, look at what I can do’…NOT! Thanks for nothing, Jackass.”

“You should just go and kill yourself, Petah…and please do it in private like a real man. I am sick of all this.”


From a post on the “Visionary Women and Enlightened Men” Facebook community page on November 22, 2012:

“I have learned through Life Experience to let Negativity blow past me as winds will do, for after the air becomes weak and exists no longer, I still stand in my Strength.” ~ Greg Frucci

The Hero’s Journey unfolds in its cycle and when one round is finished, another begins….Here is the story of an Enlightened Man among us who faced the venom we have seen others be capable of.

The negative charge to what is written here should only be read by the strong of spirit, but this is a Very Relevant example of how negative energy can be converted into Positive. As Visionary Communicators, it is vital that when one of us takes a stand in the name of Peace, that we Learn from the opportunity of another’s Courage.

How do you handle naysayers and disbelievers to your Dream?

Link to read the comments on the TV 3 Blog article ~

2015 years 8 months ago

Yeah, Chef I know…. teenage girls have already circumnavigated the globe while keeping up with their highschool studies.

Grateful American
2015 years 8 months ago

I am Bigger Fan now because WWAY 3 covered the story. I am actually even grateful to ‘ChefnSurf’ for voicing what might be the feeling of a number of viewers and thanks to your putting it out there because now a conversation can occur about what is REALLY important.So listen up:

After the news story, I read Greg Frucci’s book, and I was expecting to read about the Portugal arrival, but he achieved something so much more profound, and I am stoked that the news station realized it, and acted on it- Bravo WWAY TV!!

Not everyone can sail to Bermuda or Portugal, but EVERYONE arrives in personal Failure from time to time. Everyday, someone somewhere is arriving at the end of a relationship, or at the doorstep of the ‘last straw’ breaking or the other famous arrival, at ‘Their Wits End’. I pray for those who have turned the corner into ‘Despair’, or those who live in ‘Loneliness’ or arrive at the worst place of all, ‘Hopelessness’.

How many people go to a job they hate(but do anyway) and live in hypocrisy to their truth because of the pursuit of ‘legal tender’ when there is nothing tender about the hamster wheel that lifestyle has become.

Greg Frucci’s destination was never Portugal, not really. His destination was Peace. He set out to sail from the shores of Heart Break and Illusion and to get far enough away from Everything, until he was left alone with his Truth.

THAT Journey was a Total Success. Thank You to WWAY TV for obviously getting that concept from the beginning based on the way they chose to cover the follow up on Thanksgiving.

Humanity needs a pioneer who travels to a place of understanding Within. Thank You, Greg Frucci for being so selfless about it. This is exactly the Courage we need right now as we peek out of our sheltered lives that are so out of touch with Nature, and have amnesia about why we need to respect it and the nature within ourselves.

I would even venture to say that unless you are a military veteran or have done battle with a serious illness or tragedy, most people don’t even really understand what ‘Peace’ really is. Unless you have really fought for it, how could you?

Greg wrote a book that is a chance for anyone who wishes they could go out and leave Everything behind, the ‘J O B’, the burdens, the heartbreak, and from the comfort of their reading chair, they can go face the open ocean and surf down a 22 foot wave. They can feel the sea spray on their face and taste the bittersweet lesson of humility as it turns into the sweetness of Appreciation for Life.

What is Most Important, is that readers can face one perspective of ‘Failure’ and then Greg invites you to pick yourself up, and keep moving ahead, and more than that, to turn it into something that serves others. There is no ‘failure’ in offering your struggle for others to learn from. That is the selflessness we need so much more of. Our children are not served by being taught that vulnerability is weakness. We need Heroes who illustrate that Perseverance is the real Super Power that transforms failure into the Gold of Inspiration and redefining what is ‘I AM Possible’.

Modern Humanity is starting to realize something that Ancient Wisdom has long been saying: The Most Vital Journey we can take is from the Head into the Heart. In this light, Greg Frucci is a modern man, veteran of the corporate grind who broke away and did what so many wish they could, to ‘leave it all behind, and head for the horizon’.

I read the book when I needed that kind of break and realignment of my perspective, maybe I was farther ahead than I realized, because I knew from the start that it wasn’t Portugal I wanted to see him arrive at, it was Peace and Self Acceptance.

In that way, yea, you can put him up there with Magellan, because he found his way there, and thanks to his Valor and Courage, he turned around and wrote about it so we have a map to follow him there any time. Thanks, Greg Frucci, a lot of us need that. Still.

I wish I could go to the talk being given, and have the chance to meet a Man of Perseverance, who faced Fear and Slayed the Dragon of Failure and lived to tell the tale. It would be great to shake his hand. Based on the storms he survived, and that he surfed a 22 foot wave with a sailboat he must have balls the size of church bells.

The only problem I have with his self promotion is that he should not have to do it alone, this message is too important. That is why I had to stop what I was doing and write this right Now. I am going to track down his website and help let others know about the book. I am also grateful to the friend who sent me the book knowing it was the vacation I needed when I can’t break away due to my work. It rebooted my attitude, and there are a LOT of us who need that. That is the Real Destination and the True Victory.

2015 years 8 months ago

Can I get a cliff notes version?

2015 years 8 months ago

…he’s only a worn out old f*rt tater peeler from the galley of an inland dirt floor burger joint. He knows little about little but talks big about a lot. Whilst without a job he has nothing better to do than negatively chime in on subjects he knows nothing about. A simple, bored old man with a huge chip of failed dreams and ill-conceived adventures. I’ve often heard his knees get wobbly if he looks at a large pot of water, the ICWW is terrifying to him and blue water sailing would be an impossible achievement.

You didn’t achieve your initial goal. So what? You are one of the few that have decided to venture beyond your easy chair and take on the challenge of long-distance open water sailing. On top of that you did it solo. You’ll get another chance, but the very fact that you prepped and tried makes all of the difference in a person. Unlike those that never had the guts to take a chance, jump on an opportunity or have the ambition of anything greater that tater peelin’. He’s only jealous…so, let him cry in his sleep and and moan like an old man on this forum due to his own lack of accomplishment. We all have our bell to ring, this is all he has.

Citizen of the Republic
2015 years 8 months ago

It’s apparent you are paid by the word.
Good luck.