The Co-Publisher – by Ty Mellott

At this time, it seems that change is the one constant that can be relied upon. Regardless of how many times I repeat that statement, I am not quite able to make myself feel all warm and fuzzy about change. This may or may not be an issue for you, but change and myself are not friends. In fact, quite the opposite. At times, we are mortal enemies. In the following however, I must admit that change can be good and, in this case, does indeed bring comfort.

Jackie at Ox Bow Marina during one of her Delta visits.

Change… well, Bay & Delta Yachtsman faced a major change with the Feb. ’22 issue. Jillian Humphreys was on her way to becoming a main stay after having just taken on the responsibilities for the Bay writings several months prior. She was well-liked by the readership, those she interacted with and quite frankly, had several informative and entertaining columns under her belt already. Unfortunately for us and our readership, her responsibilities outside of writing for the publication outweighed the time she could devote to both. Something had to give and with that… yes, change. We will miss Jillian and her heartfelt words, but wish her the best of luck in all her future endeavors.

I was lost and really had a limited number of options at the time. I confided in Bill Wells about the situation at hand. Almost passing information to him as if asking for a shoulder rather than a solution. I rely on his advice often, but in this case, I felt even the great Bill Wells could not help. Within an hour or so of speaking with him, I was surprised to have him call me back as I listened to him tell me that he already had someone in mind to write about the Bay. Barely into his description of Jackie Philpott, I was sold and wished to have a conversation with her. As you may have caught her writings in the March issue, the rest is history. Yes, it was a guest piece, but with the April issue she has agreed to be a regular contributor. I am very excited to see what the future holds for her and her column, “What I Saw on the Bay.”

The smile says it all as to where Jackie would rather be.

Jackie Philpott is an accomplished sailor. Yes, yes, yes… I know, another sailor to fill our Bay pages. But let me put your mind at ease straight away. As much as she will cover sailing (a given) Jackie is more than eager to learn, but more so to put this knowledge gained to print regarding our powerboating world. I cannot stress how excited I am to have her on board. Jackie has been sailing since 2002 where she started in a 15-foot West Wight Potter. Being engaged in other activities at the time such as tennis, sailing took over and has continued to do so ever since. After moving back home to the Bay Area in 2007, she graduated up to a Cal 20 and quickly started learning all about the beauty and many nuisances of our Bay waters. While with the Berkeley Yacht Club, she even won a race with that 20-footer. I won’t mention that the rest of the club’s racers were participating in another race along the City Front that day if you don’t.

Jackie has since moved up to a Cal 27 that she purchased in 2012. All her sailboats thus far have been named Dura Mater, and her current one is no exception. I will have to make sure to ask her one day about the affection between its protective duties that it provides and the relationship to sailing. With 13 years in the Singlehanded Sailing Society and too much water under her hulls to measure, I must repeat that the accolade of an accomplished sailor is more than deserved. One of Jackie’s ambitions it seems, is to sail her way to every possible port and point of interest, not only on the Bay or out the Gate, but in the Delta as well. I look forward to her sharing her many adventures with us all.

Jackie and the solitude of single-handed sailing on the Bay.

What does one’s sailing background or even the love of sailing or being on the water have to do with writing? One might believe the two would be at each end of the spectrum. However, when it comes to Jackie Philpott, Bill Wells informed me right off that she was already a published author. Now maybe this was due to the fact that there are a fair number of pages dedicated to Bill Wells in her book, one will never know! But the plain and simple fact is that her book, “What I Saw Sailing in the California Delta” is a fantastic read. If you are not familiar with the area, you are sure to learn a great deal and if you are already a Delta aficionado, then her writings will only strengthen your bond to our beloved Delta waterways. I suggest you search Amazon for it if you are interested as I am not willing to give up my copy anytime soon. In fact, Jackie herself has agreed to sign it for me one day and I can only hope it will include a quippy sentiment that will produce a smile when someone sees it. Bottom line folks… I do believe after all these years of searching I may have very well found my own Hal Schell or Bill Wells of the Bay. I anticipate and hope that you will also have affection towards the thoughts, writings and points of view that Jackie is willing to share with us all.

Please feel free to drop us a line and give us your thoughts regarding your new Bay Area columnist if you wish. Have a wonderful 2022 boating year and I hope to see you on the water soon. 

I look forward to seeing you on the water, and if you wish to share anything with me, feel free.