With twenty socially distanced areas now available at Morses pond, the much loved local hangout is once again giving Wellesley residents the chance to enjoy some sand and sun. To reserve one of the highly coveted beach spots you need to go to the Wellesley recreation page and sign up for a two-hour time block. At the moment reservations can only be made three days into the future, and getting one is quite competitive. New reservation spots open up at 7AM every morning and are filled almost immediately during this swim-at-your-own-risk season (See “Morses Pond won’t have lifeguards, but could have life”)
Even the Swellesley Report couldn’t get a spot (OK, let’s say I haven’t exactly been an early riser of late), forcing us to instead embark out without one in an attempt to investigate what the scene was like. Unfortunately, upon arriving, all of the current visitors were on their way out, as their two-hour slot had just ended, leaving a 30-minute waiting period before the next wave of visitors came. So we didn’t capture that full beach shot we had figured on.
Jake, a Mopo employee who was directing cars into the parking lot and checking reservations, said that for the most part people stay for the whole two hours, “especially people with kids,” and that people start to make their way out after the fifteen minute warning they are given before their time slot runs out.
Spending time at the beach is valued time for Wellesley families with younger children, as well as a way for nannies to entertain kids in a socially distanced world, as Ruby Cramer, a Mopo employee working on checking people into the beach noted. She has seen a lot of nannies but not a lot of “older kids.” The Swellesley Report cannot help but suspect that for many high school students the requirement of waking up at 7am to reserve a spot may be a strong deterrent.
Emily, a Wellesley resident who had secured two time slots since the program began, had high praise for the system and for the other visitors’ etiquette. She said it had been easy to maintain her distance, and pointed out the cars in the lot which people had conscientiously parked with a good bit of distance between them. In the water, even the younger visitors are aware of social distancing, Emily said, telling about how a young girl who swam near her backed away and told her they “needed to stay far apart.”
Although not the same as in years past, both employees and visitors both expressed a sentiment of gratitude that the pond is able to be open in any capacity, and to do so in a safe way.