I met Dini aboard her family’s home and sailing vessel “Happy Dancer” to find out more about how this young mother managed to sail, travel, have a career, a family and keep everything afloat, literally.
It was a hot and sunny but breezy September afternoon. We sat up on the deck in shade, our children played quietly below. It was peaceful and the air fresh and salty. Dini cut us up a winner of a Maltese watermelon and I felt I would need convincing not to sell all my belongings and buy a boat after this interview.
Dini is 31, an Australian who has travelled a lot (10 countries in her first 18 years) and whenever by the sea she worked on boats. Dini began teaching Yoga at 25, then met and married Pablo Martinez an accountant whom she ‘trained up’ in sailing skills by buying a share in a boat docked in Sydney harbour with a dream one day of setting sail in their own. They have two sons: Noah 4 and Gael 2.5 years (at time of interview).
Me (M): The first question I must ask Dini, is, why this lifestyle choice, and why now?
Dini: (D): I have always sailed. Since I could walk, my grandfather taught me. I have always been adventurous. My original plan was to buy a really old boat with friends and do it up. For me it was always an idea centring on community. No one else at that time seemed ‘on board’ with this plan so eventually I found myself married with an 18-month old son and another on the way. All our friends were getting mortgages and we just didn’t feel ready for that yet. We wanted to make our own little world and be cut off from some of the things we liked less about western lifestyles.
When I found I was pregnant with Gael we felt the time was right. Before that we were worried our older son Noah might feel lonely if we travelled but now our family felt complete we knew it was time. We sold many of our belongings and gave away the rest. This wasn’t challenging for us, it felt very liberating.
We chose Happy Dancer because of Moody (the brand’s) good reputation as a safe but also comfortable blue water cruiser. It’s built stronger than most boats, that was the important thing. The fact that it was already equipped with solar panels and wind generator was a plus.