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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.


Comment on this Story

  • Mason

    Why the negative posts here?
    This guy is living his dream. I respect him for that.
    He probably could have picked a better time of the year to transit the atlantic but you have to go when you are ready. There is no perfect time for a bluewater passage.
    You “Internet Sailors” should keep your comments to yourself, what are you’ll doing, sailing your Hobie Cats around Banks Channel?
    Good Luck Mr.Frucchi

  • Guestoftheday

    First off he’s a NOVICE with very limited knowledge and skill. Any experienced ocean going person knows that this is the WORST time of year to adventure out on a trip like this ESPECIALLY with no experience…obviously if he was a seasoned sailor he would know this.
    This time of year is notorious for:

    1. Pop up thunderstorms (little ole sailboat with masts on a flat ocean…REALLY bad idea).

    2. Squalls

    3. Freighters (anytime of year) on auto pilot that really don’t care about (or can see) a small sailboat and that certainly are NOT going to move out of his way

    4. Rogue waves

    5. Really active Highs and Lows and Jetstream

    6. Seas that can change in a heartbeat with the jetstream etc.

    There’s a line between “Fate” and STUPID or UNEDUCATED.

    “Consulting” or “studying” and NOT A SUBSTITUTE for hands on EXPERIENCE. Just because you’ve consulted people about nuclear reactors and studied them does NOT mean you can walk into Progress Energy and work on a reactor. You have to have hands on EXPERIENCE.

  • jackie

    It always amazes me how petty and small minded some people can be. I cal it bursting balloons, you can’t conceive of any life other than your own miserable existence. A man climbs Mt. Everest, it’s a calling, a man sails to Portugal, it’s a calling..what is your problem with this. And when was weather EVER predictable, do you think he just climbed into his boat and decided to sail away. He has a sailing background, he consulted, he studied, he stocked, he equipped..the rest is up to Mother Nature and fate. So, if you don’t have anything nice to say, just shutup.

  • Sunita!!!!

    I think this guy is fantastic! He is living a dream, on a personal quest to do something bigger than the average man. While the news today is filled with stories about our failing economy and teen suicides because of bullying, and crooked politicians, and moms who murder their children, and the constant threat of terrorism, I have to tell you that I love reading about something positive and uplifting.

    I have seen comments on here people who say that this is a waste of the taxpayer’s money, that he should have checked the weather before venturing out, etc, etc, etc…well shame on all of you negative Nellies!

    Greg Frucci is a lifelong tax payer. If the Coast Guard was called out to do their job, well, that’s their job…regardless of who is out there. And this trip was privately funded. If you didn’t help fund it, then you don’t have a dog in this fight. And the people who did help are all supporters of this dream and have no complaints. So let’s drop that tactic from here on out shall we?

    And, I don’t know ANYONE who can predict the weather with even 60% accuracy so the comments about needing to check the weather before venturing out is just sour grapes.

    I am loving the fact that in today’s world, there are still people out here who want to dream bigger than what they have been told is the limit. Greg Frucci is one of those people and I am so happy to read something in the news that makes me smile and makes me proud to live in a country where you can get up in the morning and decide to do something like this.

    Go GREG!!!

  • Don A. King

    For some living their dream is for others insanity. These critical generally negative people who live in their safe places, in their ‘lazy boy chairs’, sitting in that chat room area, waiting to bounce with their opinions whose only excitement is lived through others in the make believe world of TV. Yet when one man dares to live a real adventure, his dream, there you are ready to condemn, point fingers and scoff. Yes, it is easy to sit back and say he was unprepared, unaware, and clueless as to the unknown. You were there to say Columbus was crazy. You were there to condemn the first ship to the moon. That it was impossible that men could fly and why even try. To what purpose would it serve? What drives Greg is that same passion that sent men beyond the scope of their own fear to discover something greater than themselves, even at the cost of their own lives. I also understand that you will never get it! Thank God for those that do!

  • I hope no harm comes to this ill-prepared sailor, but I have to ask, when did such idiocy become ‘news.’ Oh–I forgot about RC Soles, and B Berger, etc., etc.

  • Guestorator

    And…. this is news?

  • Hobie Cat

    Well,gee,I guess I’m sort of curious about how much (or little) experience this “old man” has had on the “sea.” With all the technology in existence today, sailing solo across the Atlantic (even without stopping in Bermuda)isn’t all that awe-inspiring. How long has Captain Frucci been preparing for this, and why did he choose a foul-weather day to embark on his “voyage of self-discovery.” Save the drama for after this guy has accomplished something! If it has taken him this long to hobble in to Bermuda with a damaged boat , I doubt that this ass-clown can complete the rest of trip in three weeks! Unless, of course, he accidentally crashes into southwest Africa. Give me a break.

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