Wilmington man sailing solo to Portugal, honoring father’s life


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington man is planning to sail to Lisbon, Portugal alone. He got the idea after visiting the country during a business trip and is filming a documentary of his journey.

Greg Frucci is a licensed architect and says when he moved to Wilmington from California, he couldn’t find any work. He says it gave him the perfect opportunity to explore the world.

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“I guess really ever since I was in my 20’s, I’ve really wanted to sail around the world or go on an adventure,” said Frucci. “I’ve always wanted an adventure and just different times in my life, it hasn’t really worked out, whether it was marriage, a career, or whatever.”

Though he’s never sailed this far, he says he’s mentally and physically prepared.

“I am no where near a quote, un-quote expert sailor,” said Frucci. “My dad taught me to sail when I was 11 years old.”

His father was a Marine Corps fighter pilot and after he retired, became an avid sailor and fisherman, teaching everything he knew to Frucci. But while on a fishing trip in 2001, Frucci’s father died at sea. He says the trip will be in memory of his dad.

A picture of Frucci’s father after serving in Vietnam is hung up inside the cabin. Frucci says he will look at it for inspiration every day.

“In my mind, when I’m crossing the ocean, my father’s going to have my back,” said Frucci.

He says the trip from Wilmington to Portugal will take about a month’s time, making stops in Bermuda and the Azores Islands along the way. He plans to set sail on June 5th.

“Some people have asked me, ‘Frucci, do you have a death wish?’ and, no I don’t,” said Frucci. “To me, this is a life wish.”

The journey, he says will not only celebrate his life, but honor his father’s. His entire journey will be recorded through a documentary entitled “changing course.” Cameras are set up inside his boat and a film crew will meet Frucci in Lisbon.