From the ages of 7 to 14 Doina sailed around the world with her family on a small yacht, visiting more than 50 countries and covering thousands of miles over land and sea. After returning to the UK to finish her education, she worked with her father Jimmy Cornell researching World Cruising Handbook as well as assisting on international sailing events such as America 500 which commemorated Christopher Columbus' transatlantic voyages. Later she helped set up and manage www.noonsite.com, a website for cruising sailors.
In 1998 Doina was one of the winners of the London Arts Board short story competition with her story 'Does the Sun rise over Dagenham?' In 1999 she married Julius Tomin, a Czech philosopher, and in 2000 moved with her family to Gloucestershire in the UK. 'Child of the Sea', an account of her sailing childhood, is her first book for children.