What you gonna do with…

This was my Journal page on the S/V Sapien site…

The above shot was taken one day south of the Tropic of Cancer in Novenber of 2006 on the way to Hawaii.
It’s proof in contrast to the one below that sailing in the Southern Latitudes is just, let’s say, better…Click here to read the story about our adventures from San Francisco, Calif.to Hilo, HI.

…As always most of my thoughts are best brought into fruition through the still-life photographic images that I love, not through the convoluted words that I write, speak, leave on answering machines, friendsters, et-cet.
For example:

Well, first of all in January of 2006
we finally sold our 9ft Fatty Knees lap strake dory, the “Diplomat” just before going on our Hawai’i vacation.
We bought that great little boat to be a replacement to Sojourner Earth (the tender for SVSN that we lost at sea in 2002) but sold S.V. Sovereign Nation before ever getting to put her on the new davits we had built for her.We thought she would make a good tender for S.V. Sapien but after three years of intense testing in pretty much every saltwater environment we could put her in she turned out to be way too big to efficiently travel long distances on a boat the size of S.V. Sapien (35ft overall). We placed an ad with Latitude 38 and she sold in three days. I love that magazine!

Secondly: seconds turn into days, weeks months, ah the controls of time through patients. If you wait you’ll see how it turns out…

At the beginning of September 2005 Dena, Dean and I went offshore to Monterey, Calif. for a shake-down cruise of all of our new electronic equipment. (See new gear)
As usual we discovered that our choice in gear was great but we forgot one of the most essential parts of any cruise, the Dramamine! Fortunately the hot-shot techno-sailor (pictured above) was only reduced to one bout of gut wrenching technicolor yawns over the leeward rails – after that he felt great. On my second full length (4 hour) watch offshore, I saw 2 Gray Whales about 20 yards off our port bow for about an hour just after sunrise, and coming into Monterey from offshore (about 20 miles out), we all got the most dramatic Dolphin show any of us had ever seen (up to that point). There were at least 50 of these beautiful animals surrounding Sapien for about 45 seconds and then it was over, just like that. Dean got off in Monterrey, Calif. and two days later Dena and I were on a wonderful broad reach with a Sou-Westerly just astern from Monterrey to Santa Cruz that took us about 6 hours including docking time in Santa Cruz Marina. The only Sunshine we saw on the whole trip was, out the gate on day one (above) and off our aft horizon as we lowered Monterrey astern (below). The rest of our vacation was spent in Septembers muted, cool cloud cover.

Although we didn’t get much wind and whether on this trip all the new systems that we installed before the journey performed perfectly.


I am now the director of the “Lake Merritt Estuary Fleet”!

The Fleet consists of 7 boats and is located in the Lake Merritt estuary in the Oakland Inner harbor at the Jack London Aquatic Center. The Boats are,


USA #F-86/ Tulla, This boat is my favorite of the fleet simply because I’ve put so much hard work and effort into making this boat sail over this past summer that I just have to love her. The story I got from Don Wilson (folkboat extraordinare’) was that she, Tulla, was built in 1962 by Brent Muller and Sailed faithfully by a local (S.F.Bay) icon by the name of Finn Jorgensen for many years. Finn love to race this beautiful old boat and because of that she’s in desperate need of a shroud-chain plate rebuild. Until she gets that done she’ll be sailing easy on the Oakland Inner Harbor. She sure is a nice boat to sail and truly a vision of beauty and grace.

USA #F-54, Elksline (not pictured)

F-54 was sailed this year in the International Folkboat Regatta held in the San Francisco Bay by the team from the Netherlands. Her husband and wife team came in 10th place over all because she took on so much water in the final race that they couldn’t even tack, so they had to drop out of the race completely. We have since fixed that leak caused by a wild, un-trimmed jibe that slammed the mast so hard against the Keelson that it broke open the garboard plank seams directly under the mast. Wow, wooden boats are so wonderfully resilient! I single handed her back to the Jack London Aquatic Center (After John Person from Svends fixed the leak) from Svendsens Boat Works on Friday Oct. 10th. It was a perfect evening sail on a classically elegant sailing vessel.

Dazzler USA #F117

Dazzler was put together over a few years by the Lake Merritt Classic Boat Club in the late 1990’s. She was built out of fiberglass from the very mold that was made to build Svend Svendsens last US Folkboat, Pellisa II. Dazzler is our most popular Folkboat charter simply because her ease and stability make her a single handers dream.


Although I loved the Bay Lady gig I lost that job because I over booked myself with building a giant sound system at one of this years (redneck) NASCAR extravaganzas held at the infinium raceway. I can say for sure that I will never do that again. Fuck that entire bullshit industry(nascar and they’re destructive ilk). I will enjoy watching it fall with the oil companies. After I lost the Schooner gig I put all of my energies into the 3 beautiful Folkboats I’ve been put in charge of for the city of Oakland, Calif. All three boats were donated (for racing) to the 2005 International Folkboat Regatta. Elksline F-#54 was chosen by the Netherlands Team and Dazzler F-#117 was chosen by the Germans. The race is going on as I write this so I will let you know how things transpire.

I think I still am although as of the 15th of May 05 I have some pretty good things in the works.
I want to get my USCG approved Captains Licenses by the end of 2005 so I joined up with the crew of the “Bay Lady”, a 90 foot steel Gaff-Rigged Schooner out of Pier 40 in San Francisco to get some professional sailing time in. I love the Ship and so far the crews I’ve been on (3 as of 5/9/05) have been a bit unsteady but fun none the less. I love learning new boats and this one is a good one. The last haul out that we did on the S.V.S.N was in 2003 we were right across the yard (at Bay Ship in Richmond, Calif.) from the Bay Lady that was hauled out at the same time. When you see a big sailing ship out of the water you get a real appreciation for how strong they really are especially one made of 130,000 pounds of steel like the Bay Lady.

I am now checked out on two of the three Rendezvous Charters big sailboats. The aforementioned steel schooner is such a pleaser to sail but as unforgiving a boat as a skiff. I’ve now been on quite a few cruise in the San Francisco Bay on this lovely (although colored Red, White and Blue) young girl (new in 1990) and all I can say at this point is: If everything is done before you leave the dock then you’re in for a treat no matter the weather but if you leave one thing out then the pooch is screwed and you beat-feat until the big girl says stop! (The outer jib halyard went aloft with the top, forsail-gaf so we had to strike the foresail, untangle the jib halyard then re-set the foresail and turn around and set the outer jib, all in front of an audience.) 5/29/2005

The other big Rendezvous boat is a 65 X 40 foot catamaran named Sea Raven. She’s a big slug, kind of like sailing a big house. She’s a 160 thousand pounds of boring unless of course you’re sailing her in the middle of 6,000 other boats and trying to jockey for the best Fireworks show visibility. This we did on the 21st of May 2001.

My second Iron in the fire:
The company that Dena works for (and I have taken quite a few pictures for), Babeland is looking to do a bunch of renovation to their offices in Oakland, Calif. Of course Dena and I are put together a design package for the second floor of their building that blew them away so hopefully I’ll get to start on that project very soon. The Idea so far is to turn the second floor (they call it the Malkavich floor for obvious reasons) into a kind of “Sex Toy Gallery/Multi-Media viewing Center/Five person working warehouse space with a kitchenette.” That great big empty space has got my head swimming with possibilities. I love that feeling. This gig could pay for the wind and solar power rig as well as the radar.


So long Alameda!!!


04/01/2005(April Fools cruise)

This is what I look like when I’m Not:
A) Selling Art (of any kind, music included).
B) Running a failing bees-wax.
C) Using enough sunscreen.

That’s the city of San Francisco off our stern with the Bay Bridge behind my shit eat’n grin.

Wow here I am again, a retired guy.
‘ve retired from a few things in my life but this time I’ve gone and retired from Gravity itself. I’ve never retired from anything as profound as gravity before (although rock-stardom and radio-pirating were pretty damn close) and as of the end of our cruise up into the delta of the Sacramento and the San Joaquin rivers at the beginning of april I was feeling quite refreshingly light and infinitely,


On the 26th of March, 2005, at 5:00pm I told Jon, Gravity’s new manager that I would not return to Gravity feed.
We shook hands and he said, “Ok.”

Started the wood refinishing on the “little-boat”, our 9ft Fatty Knees Dory.

Dena and I are still vacillating on whether or not sell this dinghy and get a smaller, lighter more suitable for a 32ft sailboat dory, but this (above) boat is very nice. It has a wonderful sailing rig that is made of Sitka Spruce (the Boom) and a rudder and drop-down keel that are made from a beautiful Mahogany. The really great thing about this boat is also the bad thing about it. It’s huge! You can carry a shit-load of groceries
and a-couple-a buddies but just try and get this thing on and off the deck.
Damn near impossible if you’re on the hook that’s for sure!
Because of the fact that we have our Monitor Windvane we had to nix the idea of building a big dinghy davit/wind and solar tower rig. You know, lots of weight and ballast issues.
I still believe that towing your dory is the best/safest option for offshore cruising even after losing our last dory (Sojourner Earth) in a storm off the coast of Cape Mendocino, California in 2001.

We also got the opportunity to turn Sapien around in her new super wide slip to face windward, I like the change of perspective and view…


Dean (Dena’s Father) and I took Sapien out for a day sail today. The sailing was fun although we didn’t get much wind it is always good to shake those sails out and bang our heads around on the rigging a bit.

Most of what we got (besides Dean’s headache) on the 3/15/05 was tide to Lee.

Would you like to help sponsor our global adventures?

Let us help you make that happen!!!

If you or someone you know is looking to unload a bunch of money on research grants* the crew of the S.V. Sapien is ready and willing to put together a grant package that will make even the most governmental of accountants light in the penny loafers. Just contact us via e-mail by putting our names ( james or dena) in front of the @ symbol and ending it with svsapien.net or you could call us if we’re within sight of land at (510) 484-1039 and last but certainly not least (expensive that’s for sure) is the ‘ol-Tyme snail mail…

James Lane or Dena Hankins
2112 Berkeley Way
Berkeley, Calif. 94704

* Two people on a 32ft sailboat on a Journey for the re-discovery of the word civilization on the planet Earth in the 21st century. Dena and I both believe it’s here, somewhere. But you may ask,how can we discover the meaning of the word civilization on a planet that is most defiantly covered with the beings that somewhat created the very concept? CLICK HERE


One comment

  1. Ahoy Matie,
    I came across your page while searching for information about the folkboat Dazzler. I recently joined the Oakland sailing club and plan to take her out tomorrow. What intrigued me about your bio is that You Sailed with Drew Harper’s company. I also worked for Spinnaker/Rendezvous back in the days when we had the brigantine Rendezvous. I was the school director and also had my 100T lic. She was a fantastic saling boat. I also sailed the Sea Raven but she/it wasn’t much fun. I left the company in 1995 so never sailed on Bay Lady.
    Anyway, I just wanted to say hi.

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