Bourne author’s tale of sunny sailing adventure

Tonia, Guido and  and James, now 19, on Whisper EMN-140813-115028001
Tonia, Guido and and James, now 19, on Whisper EMN-140813-115028001
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A sailing enthusiast has turned her passion into a book which gives a humorous account of the family’s adventures.

Tonia Parronchi grew up in Bourne, where her dad Derek Hall and mum Audrey still live.

She moved to Italy after meeting her husband Guido and has been living in Valdarno, in the Tuscan valley for the past 19 years.

Her book A Whisper on the Mediterranean, which will be released by UK publishers Sunpenny on September 12, gives a factual and funny account of the couple’s sailing adventure aboard their 42ft ketch Whisper with their 14-month old son James, now aged 19. The book explores the lesser-known Italian islands, their beauty, culture and cuisine. Tonia said: “It would appeal to those who already love sailing as well as those who are terrified by the thought of it.

“It is the kind of book a dedicated sailor could give their reluctant partner, to encourage them to set foot on board, or for the un-energetic to read from the comfort of their armchair.

“Tourists wanting to see a less well-known side of Italy would get new ideas of where to go, what to see and what to eat. It also contains tasty recipes that anyone can prepare at home. After all, if I could make them on board in spite of high seas and gale force winds, they must be fool proof.”

The book recounts the family’s varied experiences on the high seas including violent storms, anchors that got stuck, marauding mosquitoes and severe sunburn.

Tonia said: “We also discovered idyllic, secluded bays and places of sublime beauty, unreachable unless by boat and completely untarnished by tourism. I started off as a reluctant sailor, learnt to know myself better and came home ardently in love with life at sea.”

Tonia considers the Lincolnshire town to be her “second home” because her son studied at Robert Manning School, now Bourne Academy, and her parents live in Dorchester Avenue.

Her next novel The Melting of Miss Angelina Snow which she is already working on is set partly in Bourne.