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ONLY ON 3: Wilmington man sailing solo across Atlantic thought he would die

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: Wilmington man sailing solo across Atlantic thought he would die

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- As you saw ONLY ON 3 last week, a Wilmington man set sail Thursday morning for a journey that would take him across the Atlantic to Portugal.

Greg Frucci's first stop is Bermuda. He has yet to hit the island and has already faced two strong storms.

Frucci's full trip should talk about a month. The first leg of the trip has taken one week, but in that week friends tells us Frucci has already been pushed to the brink of calling off the voyage.

"Within the first three days he went into such turbulent conditions he thought he was going to die," Sheila Brothers said.

Brothers is also producing a documentary on Frucci's journey. She has been keeping a close eye on the first leg of the journey that has already had some close calls.

Brothers says contact with Frucci has been minimal, but she received this message via satellite phone Saturday morning, the day after Frucci's first big storm:

"Hey shelia. It's Greg. Just wanted to call and just let you know I'm doing good. Last night was kind of a rough night. I had some pretty high winds and some big seas. Definitely very interesting."

"Poor Greg," Brother said. "We did not expect such weather and turbulent conditions."

Brothers says the good thing is that Frucci is safe, besides some damage to his sail boat.

"He has an issue with his rudder; his radar reflector as well," Brothers said.

Frucci faced a second storm Tuesday night, but has since contacted the crew making a documentary on his journey. Brothers received an update on Frucci during our interview Wednesday afternoon. A friend said Frucci was about 150 miles from Bermuda and hoped to get their by Friday.

Brothers says the first storm took a lot out of Frucci. She says he even thought about heading back to Wilmington. Instead Frucci pulled it together and kept on.

Before he left Wilmington Frucci told WWAY he was aware of what he was going to face in the Atlantic and would use the lessons his father taught him before he passed away.

"It's an illustration of challenging fears," Frucci said before setting sail. "We all have them. You have them, and so you face them or you sit down and do nothing and if you sit down and do nothing you go nowhere."

With the damage to Frucci's boat there is no telling how long he will be in Bermuda before continuing his journey to Portugal. We will make sure to keep you updated.

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