FROM THE CURIOSITY DESK
3:17 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Hot Enough? How About A Dip In The Charles River?

On a 90-degree day, WGBH's Edgar B. Herwick III took the plunge into the Charles River, which was recently declared safe-for-swimming.

On Saturday a few dozen brave souls leapt off a dock along the Esplanade and into the Charles River  –– all with the blessing of the city of Boston. 

This marked the first public swim in that famous dirty water in more than 50 years. The reason for ban was simple.  Pollution.

Now that officials have deemed the Charles River swim-ready – one question remains: Are people actually ready to swim in the Charles?  

Dave Bosch, of Boston, said he’s always up for a swim in the river.

“I heard they did a really good job cleaning it up.  I’m not too worried about it,” he said.

Others we spoke to expressed a little more hesitation.  Nadine Raymond, of Hudson, said she swam in the Charles 40 years ago, but not today.

“There’s too many high tech companies and factories and stuff around and small businesses and I’m sure they still dump stuff in the Charles,” she said.

Eric Grazer, of Quincy said he often comes to the Charles on his lunch hour, but going in the water isn’t an option he’s considered.

“I love the dirty water, but typically just for Fenway purposes – and not for jumping in myself,” he said.

Down at the Community Boating house in Brighton, instructor Vanessa Colesworthy said her students end up in the water all the time. Though she said it’s not polluted, she and her students often find surprises at the bottom of the river.

"Skittles, water bottles, boat parts, old shoes, hats, I think there’s a bicycle down there.  Stuff like that," she said. 

There is one caveat, though.  The new rules require that you get a permit before taking the plunge.  But believe me on a hot day like today, going through the trouble to do so is well worth it.

See me jump into the Charles River and talk about the experience on the set of Greater Boston:

Tags: 

Related Program