Of Oak Bluffs’s total area, 1.3 square miles is comprised of water. Our lakes and ponds account for 15 per cent of the town or, in a more digestible form, 832 acres — that’s 11 times the size of the Cottage City Historic District.

Oak Bluffs has only three lakes (Anthony, Sunset and Crystal) and the rest are ponds, some fresh and some saltwater. Sunset Lake was given to Oak Bluffs by the Camp Meeting Association on October 28, 1910 — 102 years ago this week. There may be a more delicate way to say it, but from 1835 to 1910, Sunset Lake was, well . . . a bathroom. Sunset and Lake Anthony were originally called Squash Meadow Pond. A causeway that became Lake Avenue was built forming the two. Lake Anthony was opened to the sound, becoming Oak Bluffs Harbor, and that cleverly cleaned up the sanitation issue. For years there was great crabbing at Sunset Lake and mine wasn’t the only first date on the paddle boats there for rent. Crystal Lake (which used to be Ice House Pond) in East Chop is freshwater and was used to gather ice that was cut into blocks, stacked, covered with hay and warehoused until needed. There’s little access to Crystal Lake. The occasional swans seen seem to enjoy it and it’s a nice spot to watch the sunset.

You probably share the love affair with Sengekontacket, the Lagoon and Farm Pond, our ponds endangered by similar indelicate circumstances as Sunset Lake. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection says more than 69 per cent of the controllable nitrogen of each pond comes from septic systems. Fortuitously, attention is being paid to these important waterways. There are several small, lesser-known ponds — some in private developments — like Duarte’s Pond in Iron Hill, Fresh Pond and others in Sengekontacket, Major’s Cove and Farm Neck. There is an unnamed pond near Tiffany Drive along Barnes Road, a manmade pond at the old golf driving range and an unfinished manmade pond at Southern Woodlands. The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank owns attractive ponds behind Farm Pond and Pecoy Point. Both have an abundance of birds and frogs, but you can’t really get close enough to see if there are turtles or other critters.

I believe the pond near the hospital in Eastville is called Waptesun or Rufus’s Pond, but I’m not absolutely sure. The connecting Brush Pond would make a nice acquisition for preservation and public access by the land bank. Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation owns the pond at Dodger’s Hole. If attended to (boy, does it need it!) and by adding a small rest stop, it would make an amazing stop along the bike path. While a part of it is technically in Edgartown, most of it is in Oak Bluffs where Sheriff’s Meadow has yet to develop any interest.

Congratulations to John Tiernan and Caleb Caldwell, co-owners of the Dockside Inn, for winning a Boston Magazine “Best of” after a redesign by Tracey Overbeck Stead (an Island homeowner) of the 21-room inn. John’s grandfather, Nelson deBettencourt, bought the New York avenue Texaco in the 1940s when it was Wormley’s Garage. Dockside John and his mom, Katherine deBettencourt, are proud of the family’s 160-year Island heritage. And of course we’re all proud that Dockside Inn is the first Oak Bluffs hotel or inn to be so honored.

A warm welcome to new Islander Henry Thomas Tignor, born Oct. 19, and congratulations to mom, Kemi, and dad, Jeff Tignor.

Gail Barmakian, one of our five hardworking selectmen, is an attorney specializing in civil, family and estate law when shes not devoting attention to town business. Born and raised in Boston, Gail has been coming to the Island since birth and her family has been here since the 1900s. Gail lives near Veira Park in a neighborhood she tells me is named Petaluma. Gail enjoys running, swimming and everything outdoors. She loves the people of Oak Bluffs, its neighborhood feel and the fact that it is such a close community. Gail, thanks for your time and diligence on our behalf.

Tonight is the fundraiser for the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Minnesingers at Farm Neck at 6:30.

Interesting fact: Doing the math, the water we drink In Oak Bluffs costs less than the water we drank.

Keep your foot on a rock.