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More Smuttynose Skies



SeacoastNH is out on the Shoals again this summer. If you want to visit, grab a boat. With no more ferry service to Star Island, we’re expecting an isolated week in Haley House on Smuttynose nearby -- just us and a few thousand nesting seagulls. Click for an example of the shifting skies on the Isles of Shoals.


SEE: Smuttynose Murder section

Just a few miles off the coast, Smuttynose offers a twice-daily display of lights. The island is so small and flat that, when the clouds allow, the sunrise and sunsets are spectacular. The shots at the end of this collection were taken within just a few minutes as the colors altered from moment to moment.

Storm over Gull CottageThe stick, by the way, is to ward off nesting seagulls that don’t take kindly to the few people visiting the island in May and June. The gull attacks the highest point with a hooked claw on its webbed foot. The stick protects the hiker’s head and, pretty quickly, one remembers to walk softly and always carry a tall stick while visiting the back end of the island trail. The trail is open to the public during daylight hours, but there are no facilities or camping allowed.

When a storm comes up, it can roll in suddenly. One moment the sky is fading. The next, even the closest island of Malaga is suddenly invisible, locked in fog. Or a storm may circle for hours. Dark clouds roll up and down the coast and never arrive on the island at all. Or we can be immersed in a drenching rain, but see shafts of sunlight illuminating the mainland shore.

It helps to have no electricity. There are no man-made lights to obscure the antics of the clouds. There are no buildings to block our view. And when the sun goes down – oh my! We get a 360-degree view of the stars more vivid than any planetarium. And quiet. It is as still as still can be. No motors, No talking, just the mumble of sleepy gulls and the toll of the marker buoys.

SEE: More Smuttynose sunrise pix

Sunrise off the Isles of Shoals

Smuttynose Sky

Smuttynose /

Smuttynose Sunrise at the Isles of Shoals /

Smuttynose Sunrise /

Photos by J. Dennis Robinson / All tights reserved.




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