Here’s how Dartmouth residents beat the heat

Jul 20, 2019

Dartmouth residents mostly heeded extreme temperature warnings on Saturday by staying indoors — but those who didn’t hit the beach to beat the heat.

The first day of the heatwave — expected to last through Sunday — saw temperatures as high as 94 degrees, with a high heat index making it feel about 110.

Families sat under umbrellas or trees to stay in the shade at Apponagansett beach — although some were brave enough to sunbathe. 

Those who made it out of the air conditioning were rewarded with warm water and a steady breeze.

“It’s actually beautiful,” said Dartmouth resident Phil Pereira, who sat under a multicolored umbrella with his wife Stephanie and their napping 1-year-old daughter Natalia. “I thought it was going to be more uncomfortable than it is, but I think by the water it’s perfect.”

“The trees have a nice shade,” added Stephanie. It was the family’s first time at Apponagansett, and they were enjoying the sandy beach.

“I’m surprised there’s not more people here,” Phil said.

At one end of the beach dozens of people were camping out under tents and grilling food for a family reunion.

Rhoda Purcell of Dartmouth said that they’d started planning the event seven months ago, so they weren’t about to call it off because of the heat — especially since some family members had already booked flights in from out of town, including places like Cape Verde and California.

“We were already too much into it to be able to cancel or reschedule,” agreed family member Rayana Grace. “And honestly, being by the water I think helps, with the breeze, and the kids can swim.”

Family matriarch Clo Grace didn’t mind the heat either. “I don’t have to shovel this,” she said, holding her hands up in the sticky air.

Meanwhile the staff at the Bucket — the park’s ice cream spot run by Dartmouth’s Parks and Recreation department — seemed to be coping. 

“I’m gonna sit in the shade with a bottle of rum,” joked restaurant manager Arthur Domingos. 

More seriously, he noted that they’ve worked in heat waves before. “I do feel bad for the cooks, though,” he added.