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Heidi Watney: Full Throttle Vacationer

Part 1 of 2
By Glenn Jones | Nov 17, 2010
Tom Steinhoff via iPhone
Heidi Watney on a Sea Venture jet ski tour

Given Heidi Watney's career as a sideline TV reporter for the Boston Red Sox you might peg her as one who prefers to be a spectator, as opposed to a player. But based on the way the former beauty pageant contestant took Bermuda by storm this month, it's pretty clear she prefers to be in the game versus watching from the sidelines.

In four action-packed days in Bermuda, Heidi tried just about everything the place has to offer. She swam with dolphins, jet skied, did one-third of a triathlon and took in a championship rugby match between New Zealand and South Africa.

"We're not a sip drinks with umbrellas in them kind of family," Heidi told bermuda.com from the balcony of her villa at the Tucker's Point Hotel & Spa.

Heidi travelled to Bermuda with her sister Kelly and mother Paula who both made the journey from California. Heidi referred to the trio as "three chicks" on vacation and none was complaining about the action-packed schedule.

I was invited along when Heidi and Kelly took a jet ski tour across Bermuda, shrugging off what locals would consider a date too late in the year for water sports.

"I usually get made fun of by Red Sox nation because my jacket is too thick in whatever month," Heidi confessed with a laugh. "This is delightful, right now I'm in a tank top and shorts and we're going out to the beach. It's so nice."

It was 40-something degrees back in Boston as she spoke.

A company called Sea Venture provided a 75-minute jet ski tour. It offers a collection of pretty big, almost intimidating machines that look like parked oxen at the dock. An expert guide comes as part of the package as well. In this case, Will Tucker, a Bermudian, decided a November tour required a full body wet suit. The rest of us braved it in short suits.

"You stick your foot in and your first reaction is, maybe it's a little chilly," Heidi said. "But after a minute you get used to it and it's fine. By the end of the jet ski thing I was ready to jump in the water."

Heidi's comfort level on the water was impossible to ignore. In the uncrowded sound she was full throttle almost 100% of the time, challenging Kelly who had an even deeper hunger for speed. "We're a very competitive family," Heidi quipped.

At times the water was very choppy and Heidi's watercraft leaped into the air. But she held on and never slowed down - not once - even when there was a wall of water in her face from the jet ski in front.

Will's tour is high speed when it should be and under five knots when it needs to be. He took us from Waterlot in Southampton to Snorkel Park in Dockyard - where we picked up two more jet skiers, from Boston fittingly. Then it was to one of Bermuda's many shipwrecks, under the smallest drawbridge in the world and a little stop time to feed bread to the fish.

The girls said they loved every minute of it. Heidi was gushing. "I think the thing for me that will stick is how beautiful and clear the water is. It is just an amazing turquoise color and you can see through it so well. It's phenomenal."

Heidi says she's already working to squeeze in another action-packed visit during the three-day baseball all-star break next spring.

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Disclosure: The Bermuda Department of Tourism paid for portions of Heidi Watney's Bermuda vacation