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On Tuesday, the second last day of the mast workshop, Bert mentioned that the next day he would be a bit torn, as he had a Lofting workshop taking place. Four guys were turning up for it. I had to ask what it is with the gender balance in the courses. I thought that his answer was interesting.

Women only come to his sail making and boat building workshops. “I dreamed for twenty years” he added.

So where does all this fit in? Is making a mast and sewing a sail for a small dinghy dreaming or doing?

First response: men dream, women do. Another one: men abstract, women need it literally. Another one: men who dream do courses, men who don’t, just go and do it. With the whole question whether men would admit to not being able to do it before starting by going to a course. Women are smart enough to know what/that they don’t know.

Is dreaming and doing any sort of dichotomy that is worth thinking about? Markus made an interesting comment while he was presenting the Gas tank Catamaran to some visiting students the other day. Most boat building projects take years. “I don’t have the patience for that.”

This has less to do with gender and more to do with attitude. So often I have a plan but I need to wait until someone comes and suggests doing precisely the same thing. Is that then dreaming? Is preparation for something that might happen dreaming? Listening to the very homey Furled Sails podcast number 111 (or so) there was the comment that the fellow interviewed, Shane St Clair, that people very rarely get paid to sail. They sail and get paid for doing something else at the same time. Entertaining visitors. Cooking. Or in his case it was managing and, in particular, imagining what might possibly go wrong and either being prepared for it or avoiding the possibility at all. So he is being paid to dream, to imagine, to abstract into the future and see what goes wrong.

The strange people over at Lattitudes and Attitudes (I have no idea how I found a copy of this magazine, a strange blending of bikey culture, the visuals of Maximum Rock and Roll, sailing and possibly the worst music taste ever) love to use the term “Living the dream” about getting out from under the boss’ thumb and set out into the sun with a Pina Colada in one hand and a dubious CD in the stereo. I don’t know whether that is my dream…