Anchor’s Away

September 12, 2013 | By | Comments (0)

Photo: William Geddes

Fox News personality Bill Hemmer dishes on his Sag Harbor hangouts and the seafaring hobby that helps him unwind

Bill Hemmer is no stranger to travel—his innate wanderlust and his career as a broadcast reporter have taken him across the globe, to locations as far-flung as Nepal, China, Iraq, and Israel. But the one place that has perhaps made the biggest impression on the suit-and-tie-clad New Yorker is a little closer to home. “Not long after 9/11, a few friends and I rented a house on Big Fresh Pond in Southampton,” he recalls. “I remember that there was a sense of calm and serenity I felt when I got out of New York and into the Hamptons that was almost instant. To me, there’s really nothing like being in a beach chair on the shore at low tide.”

That experience stayed with the Fox News Channel’s America’s Newsroom co-host, who about eight years ago found his own place on the sand: a Sag Harbor getaway just a short drive from his busy city life. “I wanted to find somewhere that I could escape without having to get on an airplane,” he says, “and this is perfect—it’s historic, and there’s lots to do and see, but it’s quiet and relaxing here. Sag Harbor has become my refuge.”

So, too, is his off-the-beaten-path cottage, where he regularly hosts barbecues  and get-togethers. “What sold me was the backyard,” he says. “It looked like a place of tranquility, and it was large enough so my family and I could all comfortably hang out.” It’s also where Hemmer perfects his inherent green thumb (his mother is also a gardener) with a medley of oak trees, birch trees, Japanese maples, hydrangeas, honey locusts, and tulips—symbols of the serene departure from the sometimes stressful and somber scenes he covers while reporting on location. “It’s impossible to see the things I do in my job and not be affected,” he says. “So I come here and try to immerse myself in hobbies that remove me from that part of my life.”

And he finds the most solace while at sea, practicing a self-taught sport he picked up during his frequent Hamptons getaways: sailing a 23-foot wooden Ensign on Peconic Bay. “What I like is that it requires you to maintain concentration on the wind or the depth of the water,” he says. “It calms the mind.” That is, after all, what Hemmer’s Hamptons is all about: “I believe you can make the Hamptons whatever you want,” he says. “For me, it’s all about relaxation.”

Here, Hemmer shares the all-American tunes that help him unwind on the sand:


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