Vanessa is the sea serpent that lives in Farm Pond, Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard.
Farm pond is located right behind where the Bike Path starts leaving Oak Bluffs along Beach Road on the way
to Edgartown. She has seen by over 100,000 people every Summer for over 30 years and has become
not only a MV landmark but the subject of tourist speculation and tour bus driver anecdotes.
Vanessa usually appears on Memorial Day Weekend and disappears Labor Day Weekend.
Vanessa was originally brought to the surface by Mindy Kendall in 1984.
Mindy met Vanessa on a warm Summer's day and with the help
of some island magic she helped Vanessa become who she is today.
Mindy’s dream was to celebrate this magical creature
and give Island children something to look for and believe in.
Mindy Kendall was the Original Caretaker.
Guy Clements (her Father) spent several years as an interim Caretaker and even wrote a few stories about her.
Trina and Frank Barvenik continue to be key members of the Sea Serpent Support Team.
Robert Loyot joined the SSST in 2000.
Amelie Loyot (Mindy’s Niece) is now Head Caretaker.
And her daughter Alexandra is a Caretaker-In-Training for the future.
Other members of the Sea Serpent Support Team:
Arthur Burritt II
Arthur Burritt III
Janice and Roland Aubut
Heidi and Matt Browne
* This newspaper reproduction appears courtesy of the Vineyard Gazette,
a weekly newspaper published on Martha’s Vineyard. mvgazette.com.
©Vineyard Gazette. All rights reserved. Photo courtesy of Alison Shaw
Q: Is Vanessa real?
Absolutely! She is as real as rainbows, and laughter and fireflies playing tag on a warm Summer night.
Q: Is she related to the Loch Ness Monster?
Yes. Nessy is her very, very shy sister. Did you know she was a girl? Vanessa also has a cousin (42-times removed) who's name is Champ.
Q: When can I find Vanessa?
Vanessa settles into her Farm Pond, Oak Bluffs home on Martha's Vineyard every Memorial Day weekend and swims off by Labor Day.
Q: What is her favorite thing to do?
Watching tourists! She also enjoys swimming in Winter waters. Sunrises and sunsets. Playing tricks on swans. Teaching baby geese to swim. Winking at children on the bike path. Visiting with mermaids. Racing seals. Horseshoe crab tipping. Otter rolling. Playing baseball with seagulls– a tail makes a great bat! And sneaking out of the pond when no one is looking.
Q: Who is her best friend?
A Narwhal named Felicity. She also likes to play with the mermaids, but they can never be relied on, and she has a special place in her heart for a seagull named Jonathan.
Q: How old is she?
She will never tell, but let's just say she's seen a whole lot.
Q: Does she have any children?
Yes. Vanessa has had several children. The Island children have named them all. She hasn't had a new baby in a while, but you never know....
Q: Where does she go in the Winter?