I am going to do this…
We all reach synchronous moments in our lives created by both outside and inside forces. I have reached such a moment in time. The choice before us always is to stop in our path created by fears inside us or to conquer that fear and feel the moment moving down the unknown path. I have chosen to move forward, open the door and go to the next level.
On May 17, 2011 with the full moon setting and the sun rising, I will set sail on my 30 foot sloop sailboat, “Cuddy”, alone from Masonboro Yacht Club in Wilmington, North Carolina and cross the Atlantic Ocean bound for Lisbon, Portugal. The 3,280 nautical mile course will take approximately 30 to 40 days with a stop in the Azores Island chain.
The desire for an adventure is a life long dream. I have been driven to do something like this my whole life. As far back in my life as I can remember, I have wanted to explore this earth. The “how” and “where” have changed over time…never really coming to a conclusion…until recently. Over my life, I have almost pulled the trigger on the adventure several times, but life events such as marriage and career seemed to get in the way of making this happen. At this moment in time, I am free. I have the motivation. I have the vehicle. I want to leave where I am and continue my creative passions on a higher level.
I moved all over this country as a child being the eldest son of a Marine Corps fighter pilot, Lt. Col. Allen L. Frucci, USMC (deceased). My family always subscribed to National Geographic Magazine while I was growing up. Maybe you remember if you got the magazine…maps would be included in every other issue. I would lay claim to the maps and go over them for hours at a time…imagining myself in those far away places. My father always supported my desires to “get out there” taking me camping and fishing…we even climbed a mountain together in Colorado when I was in the 4th grade. I surf, skydive, practice martial arts and so many other challenging activities…yet I have always been driven to do something more challenging. The vehicle and destination are choices which were brought to me by outside forces by being open from inside.
In the spring of 2010, I was having a discussion with my employer at Paragon International, Inc about my desire to jump on a sailboat and take off towards the horizon on an adventure. He laughed out loud as most people do, however his demeanor changed as the discussion evolved. The discussion was in in-depth one about this lifetime desire. He asked me why a boat…we talked for quite some time about people’s dreams of just taking off. The Sea is a big part of my life. I was born on an island in South Carolina while Dad was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, SC. Dad taught me to surf in Hawaii when I was 11 years old. I’ve been on and around boats my whole life…I first learned to sail while at a camp when I was 13. After my second wife and I spit up in 2006, I regrouped at my family’s vacation home on Ocracoke Island, NC for 4 months planning where I would go next. The rest of this story and what has happened since then will come out during the voyage at sea to Lisbon. His response after hearing the story? “Frucci, you need to buy my boat!”. I laughed it off at first for several reasons, mainly because I knew I couldn’t afford the cost. Dave “worked” me for three months making the deal sweeter and sweeter…I finally acquiesced…now the “Cuddy” is mine. Over the past few months, I have single-handed the boat many times becoming more and more comfortable sailing the vessel alone…I have become one with it. This is the answer to “How”.
Why now? The timing of this event is related to a person whose name will never, ever be mentioned. The finality of being free is upon me. That personal freedom and finding peace in the finality of the freedom is the key trigger to the answer to “why now”.
Why Lisbon, Portugal? As part of the synchronicity of this event related to the “why now”, I was in Lisbon for business in early October of this year. My part-time job with Paragon International, Inc. sends me to places I’ve never been…a fantastic job which I love very much…the jaunts to far away places feeds my traveling desires. Dave Rock III, the owner of Paragon International, Inc. always laughs at me when I tell him almost the same thing when I travel outside the country, “I could live here Dave! Let’s set up a foreign office!”. I’m half-joking when I say those things and everywhere except Portugal, I was always ready to come home, sleep in my own bed, play with my dog and be with the one person on this earth I wanted to be with the most. Prior to the Portugal trip, my life had changed by an outside force. When I landed in Lisbon, the place reminded me of living in San Francisco, California with the climate and topography being similar. I have been drawn to Europe my whole life. Architecture, Art, Culture, Language…so many things. Portugal hit me as the exact place to go I have been searching for. During the voyage I will go into more depth about why Portugal and it’s pull on me.
This voyage is a telling of a story. The story is a typical one which, in different ways, happens to all humans at different moments in time. Many of us have had this desire. What makes this particular story interesting is the way in which we tell it. The voyage is not just about sailing across the Atlantic Ocean alone because I want to do it…that is just part of it. The voyage is more about a series of life events over 50 years which synchronously leads to this event. Thus, the story.
I will film the entire event from the moment I depart Masonboro Yacht Club until I arrive in Lisbon, Portugal. Filming will include outside shots of the voyage from the “Cuddy” as well as myself on camera from a tripod discussing many topics including the days events and what I am thinking at the time. The spiritualism of the journey will manifest itself during those discussions. I plan on broadcasting and/or streaming live on a daily basis over the course of the voyage. People will become interested and want to know what will happen next through a website we create for this project. I will want to know with them because I will not know either.
This story is about dreaming of doing something and actually doing it. How many of us have had similar dreams and not taken the steps to make it happen due to our particular life situations? My bet is millions. Those humans will be able to live vicariously through my experience as I live it…making it ours.
A final thought…
After discussing this adventure with an old friend of mine in California, Alec Hudnut, he said, “Frucci, not only do you have the makings of a film, a documentary and a reality show…you have a book if you make it to Lisbon”. He’s right.