Title: Path of Three Hundred
Author: Greg Frucci
Illustrators: Katherine Gerardi and Greg Frucci
“Petah quickly turned the boat, steering towards the gateway while his heart pounded with excitement. He looked down at his compass to see his bearing was three hundred degrees. The Voice inside him spoke again …” Greg Frucci writes in his book, Path of Three Hundred.
With one hundred and sixty-six pages, this paperback book has a drawing of a flying bird against the cloudy sky on the front cover. The tome is written from the author’s own experience sailing in his thirty foot sailboat from North Carolina to Bermuda and back but written in third person format as a tale. Italicized partial sayings are spread among the pages and the appendix contains over thirty pages of his complete poems. With little profanity, the misuse of punctuation and capitalization often deters from concentrating on the storyline.
In Frucci’s adventure, he writes as Petah, a wistful fifty year old soul searching for his true self as he is tossed to and fro in the sea of life. Working part time for a local hardware store and having recently ended a bad relationship, he leaves his beloved dog with friends as he sails off to the supposed peaceful sunset to find himself en route from Masonboro, North Carolina to Lisbon, Portugal.
Planning an initial six day jaunt to Bermuda, the simple and inexperienced sailor is caught up in a violent gale storm for eighteen hours of forty knot winds and twenty-foot waves where he questions his emotions, fears, negativity, anger and regrets of life choices. While whales in the indigo ocean and three unique birds keep watch over his safe passage, he contemplates relationships, religion and the existence of God. Exhausted and tired, he turns his battered boat into port to reassess life, beliefs and the past.
Months later, Petah flies back to the “island of the Soul in Limbo” to return his cherished boat to her home in America. Hoping the return trip is calmer and uneventful, he not only sees the same birds, but hears strange sounds in the Bermuda Triangle, finds respite in the doldrums and watches dolphins escorting him. But when his autopilot breaks, a mainsail tears, and thunderstorms rage around him, he finds solace in remembering his father’s words, thanks God and his vessel for passage and hears the Voice that guides him to his haven.
With writings and sayings confusing like a turbulent sea at times, the author expresses his angst, acceptance and awe as he searches for the way out of his own darkness when the God of the universe talks to him in a profound way.