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Uncle Oscar is Shoaler Lifeline

Sue Reynolds Captains UNCLE OSCAR /

Uncle Oscar is back. With the MV Thomas Laighton no longer ferrying tourists to Star Island – so far – only one local boat is offering daily stopover service to the Isles of Shoals this summer. Curiously, the converted fishing boat is named for Thomas Laighton’s son – Oscar Laighton – affectionately known as Uncle Oscar. Click for more info



MUCH MORE: How to Get to the Shoals


It seems inevitable that other cruise boats will eventually begin providing summer "stopover" and "walkabout" visits to Star Island. But for now, old Uncle Oscar, a converted fishing boat out of Rye Harbor, NH, is the only vessel making daily trips for visitors who actually want to get on to Star Island and walk around, then return the same day.

Unclse Oscar Laighton / SeacoastNH.comStar Island conference members and Shoals Marine Lab students have their own ferries this year. The sudden change, breaking decades of tradition, occurred when the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company ceased its ferry service this summer. The MV Thomas Laighton still offers a full schedule of narrated tours around the Shoals. But only Uncle Oscar, owned by Captain Sue Reynolds will be taking up to 20 visitors at a time to Star Island during July and August.

Reynolds, a middle school teacher, also created and organizes The Lighthouse Kids, who are raising the funds to save White Island Lighthouse – funds the state of New Hampshire was unwilling to put up itself. Reynolds runs a morning Lobster Fishing demonstration tour, then makes at least two daily trips to Star, weather permitting. Those wishing an instant taxi service to the Shoals can pay independent vessels up to $150 per trip, but Reynolds offers regularly scheduled trips beginning at $20. was aboard for the first scheduled trip of the season and we took these pictures of Sue, her assistant Max, and a few friendly passengers. For details on trips aboard the Uncle Oscar, check out the official Island Cruises web site. – JDR

MORE: On Oscar's sister Celia

Uncle Oscar leaves Rye Harbor, NH on an overcast day

Captain Sue Reynolds offers safety instructions to morning passengers to the Shoals /

Visitors get a close look at White Island lighthouse aboard the Uncle Oscar

Uncle Oscar in Gosport Harbor

Happy passengers aboard Uncle Oscar

Max relaxing between ports

Visitors to Star Island depart Uncle Oscar /

Photos copyright (c) 2005 All rights reserved.
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