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How to Get There and What to Bring

Star Arts You Did Come Back!

June 16 – 23, 2018

Helpful and important information for our week together on Star


The primary island phone line is 603-601-0832. The emergency backup line is 603-964-7252.

We have emergency contacts and phone number for each of our conferees. Please make sure this information is up to-date. Send any changes to Barbara Reynolds at .


Start of Conference: Saturday, June 16, 2018

Last year we asked the conferees to arrive at the Isles of Shoals dock between 11:00 and 1:00 p.m. The Thomas Laighton ferry departed at 2:55 pm. We do not yet have information for our 2018 schedule.

The Isles of Shoals Steamship Company, which operates the Thomas Laighton, is located at 315 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801. Telephone 603-431-5500). http://www.islesofshoals.com/

If you are lost or late, please contact Barbara Reynolds, Registrar at 339-206-5510

End of Conference: Saturday, June 23, 2018

Pay your hotel bill at the front desk from Friday evening to Saturday morning. All bills must be paid prior to departure.

All luggage must be outside your room by 7:00 am. Board the Thomas Laighton at 8:00 am, depart the island at 8:20 am and return to the dock in Portsmouth at 9:30 am, depending on weather and sea conditions.


From 95 North (coming from the South)

Take NH Exit 7. At end of ramp, turn RIGHT at lights. You should be headed towards downtown Portsmouth. Go approximately ¾ mile, staying in the LEFT LANE as you approach the Portsmouth Sheraton (a large brick building) on your right. The entrance to the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company is on your LEFT, directly across from the Sheraton. The dock is located at 315 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801.

From 95 South (coming from the North)

Take NH Exit 7. At end of ramp, turn LEFT at lights. You should be headed towards downtown Portsmouth. Go approximately ¾ mile, staying in the LEFT LANE as you approach the Portsmouth Sheraton (a large brick building) on your right. The entrance to the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company is on your LEFT, directly across from the Sheraton. The dock is located at 315 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801.


An independent, commercial parking lot is available at the boat dock for a daily fee. We do not yet have the parking rate for 2018. For your convenience, payment is made on Star Island at the end of your stay. Parking fees will be added to your hotel bill and Star Island will reimburse the parking lot vendor.


Buses to Portsmouth, NH

Greyhound Bus (travels from Logan Airport and South Station, Boston, MA)

800-231-2222 or local 617-526-1801
Rates: one way/roundtrip $19/$38 (subject to change)
Note: If leaving from Logan, take a taxi from the airport to the Greyhound Bus Station.
From downtown Boston, Greyhound departs from the Boston South Station Transit Hub, 700 Atlantic Ave., Boston, MA.
Bus arrives at: Portsmouth Bus Station: 54 Hanover Street, Portsmouth, NH. The Bus Station is in downtown
Portsmouth (a 5 minute walk to the ISSCo dock.)
Travel time to Portsmouth: 1.25 hours Distance: 60 miles

C&J Trailways (travels from Logan Airport and South Station, Boston, MA; also runs between NYC and South Station)

Rates from Logan Airport: one way $24 (subject to change)
Boston Pick Up: Designated airport locations and Boston South Station Transit Hub, 700 Atlantic Ave., Boston, MA
Portsmouth Bus Station: Pease Transportation Center, 185 Grafton Road, Portsmouth, NH. Note: There is a free trolley
bus providing transportation to downtown Portsmouth (a 5 minute walk to the dock). Taxis can also be called to meet
you at the bus or ferry.
Travel time to Portsmouth: 1.25 hours Distance: 60 miles

Shuttle Service (Logan Airport, Boston or Manchester Airport, Manchester, NH)

Flight Line Airport Express

Advanced reservations required

Seacoast Airport Service

Advanced reservations required
Note: You can arrange to be dropped off or picked up at the Portsmouth Sheraton, right across the street from the ferry :dock.

Taxis to or from the Ferry Dock

Anchor Taxi

Advanced reservations required

Blue Star Taxi



The Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel is across the street from the Ferry Dock.

250 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801
(603) 431-2300

For more information about where to stay in Portsmouth, check out options on the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce website: http://www.goportsmouthnh.com/where-to-stay/. Or contact the Chamber of Commerce by phone (603-436-3988) or email: .


  • RECOMMENDED: Checked baggage (preferably soft-sided duffel/no wheels)
- One checked bag – limit 40 lbs. per person, OR
- Two smaller checked bags – limit 25 lbs. per bag per person (PREFERRED)
  • Small carry-on bag(s) (a backpack or zippered tote, including your personal items)
Prescriptions must be included in carry-on bags, not checked!
  • One or more specialty items (easel, musical instrument, laptop, tennis racquet, etc.)

As noted above, each person is allowed one bag of no more than 40 lbs., or two bags weighing no more than 25 lbs. each (strongly encouraged), unlimited carry-on bags, including specialty items (musical instrument, easel, tennis racquet, etc). Please pack any prescriptions in your carry-on bag.

If possible, please use duffel or soft sided bags. Keep in mind the safety of the luggage handling crew, and be aware that luggage will be passed on and off the boat and over the railings. Loosely packed items run the risk of being dropped in the water during handling. Carry-on luggage is limited to what will fit on your back, under the seat, or in your lap. Carry-on items are the responsibility of the passengers. There will be a scale in place at the “check in” station in Portsmouth to determine checked luggage weight. Your checked luggage will be sent to the island on a different boat than the ferry, and then unloaded and delivered to your room. The Star Island Corporation is not responsible for replacement or repair of conferee luggage lost or damaged in transport.

All luggage must be labeled with your name, address and phone number before you arrive at the dock. It’s a good idea to put a label INSIDE your bags as well. Color coded room tags will be provided by the island staff when conferees check in at the dock in Portsmouth, and should be affixed to the “checked” luggage item. Reminder: put valuable items and anything you cannot live without – glasses, medicines, contact lenses, etc. – in your carry-on luggage.

Your luggage will be tagged with your room number at the dock. Pels (our favorite island helpers) will deliver your “checked” luggage right to your room. You are responsible for carrying your “carry-on” luggage to your room. There are hills and stairs to consider! NOTE: If you need assistance getting from the ferry dock to the hotel or other buildings, a transportation cart is available. For more details and to make arrangements, please contact Barbara Reynolds, Registrar at .

We hope for sun, but we will “enjoy” a variety of weather. Think layers, since days usually start out cool, may get quite warm by early afternoon, and cool down at night. Sweatshirts, long pants, warm socks, windbreakers and rain gear are suggested. Bring sunscreen, swimwear, a hat and mosquito repellent. The island terrain is rocky, so water shoes, sneakers or other sturdy shoes are a necessity. Bring enough clothes to last the week, as laundry facilities are not available. If you'd like, bring a dressier outfit for our Friday night art show, photography slide show, live performances and dance!

Island rooms have no locks, so leave your valuables at home. Please also note that electric service is limited. Do not bring appliances with heating elements, as their use is strictly forbidden in your bedroom. Outlets for hair dryers are available only in a few bathrooms. Bring a flashlight. If you want to bring your own thermal coffee mug and water bottle, please do!

Individuals over the age of 21 who wish to bring their own private alcoholic beverages must pack them in their checked luggage, not in their carry-on. The Thomas Laighton will not permit the consumption of private alcoholic beverages on their boat, although they do offer them for sale.

Sports and Music: Bring your tennis racquet and can of balls, your baseball glove, your Frisbee, and any other play toys you'd like. If you are a musician, bring your instrument! StarArts Shoalers are very musical, and you are bound to find others to jam with and a audience willing to listen.

Art Supplies: There will be quite a few plein air painters scattered around the island. Feel free to bring your easel, paints, brushes and canvases. If you'd like, bring knitting, beading, or other crafting materials. You'll have lots of company!

Laptops: If you're taking the photography workshop, feel free to bring a laptop so you can download and work on the photos you take on island. NOTE: This is not required!


Please remember that there are no stores on Star Island other than the Gift Shop and Book Store. Please think about which workshop piques your interest and plan ahead. Bring what you can…and forget about the rest. As always, we will share resources and improvise!

  • Myth, Music, and the Ecology of Mind: Conferees will explore the traditions of music and poetic storytelling, drawing on natural history, mythology, and ecology as guiding metaphors and sources of inspiration.
  • Writing with Jeanne Beckwith: This workshop will focus on essential elements of playwriting and the creative process.
  • Acting 101 – How to Forget You’re Being Watched and Just Have Fun: The great thing about acting is there’s no ‘one way’ to do it. The goal is to help you overcome inhibitions by focusing on the task at hand rather than the audience, and to free up your creative self in structured exercises.
  • Photography on Star
  • Pique Assiiette Mosaics with Nancy Taylor: Learn the art of broken dish mosaics also know as Pique Assiiette. (French for stolen dish.) Pique Assiiette is a form of art similar to mosaic but specifically uses broken plates and the like arranged in patterns or designs. Who knew breaking dishes could be so much fun. Using dishes, china, cups, tiles and found objects you will complete a mirror frame and if time allows a few pieces of jewelry.
  • Movement with Language with Reverend Bill Clark: This workshop will be a combination of movement with language. We will be exploring moving our bodies to music (mostly club music one can dance to) and learning how to apply American Sign Language to the words and music.


Please bring something to donate to our annual Art Auction. You may donate art work done off-island or work that you do on the island. We ask that donated work is original, hand-made and meaningful to Star Arts. Proceeds from the Art Auction help support the Star Arts Scholarship Fund, which is used to bring Shoalers to Star who might otherwise be unable to come – a truly worthy cause! Don’t forget your checkbook! There will be many items available in both the Silent and Live Auctions!


IMPORTANT: Bring a spare car key with you.

Once you arrive at the Portsmouth dock, check in with a SIC parking attendant. The attendant will have a conference list to confirm that you are going to Star Island (and the date when you are returning to the mainland). It is essential that the SIC staff know every conferee’s return date so that the parking lot can be organized and returnees have easy access to their cars. A designated SIC staff member will be collecting and labeling keys so that, in the event of a departure date change, SIC staff or ISSCo. Staff have access to cars that will depart early. Car keys will be stored safely with the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company until conferees’ return to Portsmouth. At that time, keys will be returned to conferees.

Once you have been checked in, SIC staff will direct you to the Star Island parking area where staff will be waiting to give parking instructions. You will park your car BEFORE unloading luggage. After parking your car, staff members will help transport your luggage to the luggage boat. Luggage will not be taken aboard the Thomas Laighton; rather, it will be transported on a different boat. Please make sure to keep your carry-on bags (with those items you can’t live without) with you on the Thomas Laighton. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS ON ALL OF YOUR BAGS.

There is a fee for parking. We will post the 2018 rate when it's available. This charge will appear on your room & board bill when you check out at the end of the week.

If for any reason your car must be parked outside of the designated parking area, you MUST report to the Pelican on duty to receive further instructions, including what to do with your keys. Vehicle owners who park their cars outside the designated parking area, but don’t check in with the Pelican on duty, will have their vehicle towed at their own expense. The Star Island Corporation and the Pease Development Authority, Division of Ports and Harbors, assume no responsibility for cars parked in the designated Star Island parking lot.

If you are arriving on a day other than your conference start date, or leaving before the Conference is over, you MUST check in with the Steamship Company parking lot attendant to receive instructions about where to park. This will insure that you are not blocked in by other cars when you need to leave. In addition, if you will be leaving early, you must check in with the front desk staff immediately upon your arrival on Star to ensure that the island knows of your travel plans.

If you require boat transportation other than the regular conference Saturday arrival and departure, you must let Barbara Reynolds (Registrar) know which boat you are on: both the boat (the Thomas Laighton or Uncle Oscar), plus the departure time you plan to take. We will put you on the boat list once we get that information.

If you are not taking the Thomas Laighton, you must make your own arrangements to take the Uncle Oscar boat from Rye, NH to the island. For more info, call 603-964-6446 or go to http://www.uncleoscar.com/.

If you come to Star or leave on a boat other than the Thomas Laighton, you will have to pay for that ticket separately, in addition to your room and board charge.


For people who will NOT be on the Saturday Conference Boat at 2:55, but will be taking The Thomas Laighton or Challenger to the island on other days, travel vouchers will be sent to your email address. You will need to present the voucher to the ticket office when you arrive at the dock. Once your car and luggage are properly taken care of, pick up your name tags from one of our volunteers. Please put them on and wear them until you return to your car the following Saturday!


  • 11:00 am – 1:00 pm ARRIVE at Portsmouth Dock
Conferees arriving after 1:00 run the risk of not having their checked luggage delivered to the island until Monday :afternoon, and also possibly missing the Thomas Laighton. With limited showers and having only the clothes on your :back, it does not make for a fun time! Be on time! Remember, your luggage will be going out on a luggage boat that will :leave Portsmouth BEFORE the Thomas Laighton, so you MUST be at the dock by 1:00 in order to ensure your luggage :makes the Saturday luggage boat.
After checking in, dropping off your luggage, picking up your name tag, go into town, just a few blocks away, for lunch or :some quick shopping. Be back on the dock by 2:00.
  • 2:25 pm BOARD the Thomas Laighton
  • 2:55 pm DEPARTURE
  • 3:55 pm ARRIVE at Star Island

If you are on the Saturday Conference Boat, there are NO BOAT TICKETS. Your boat fare is included in your room and board bill, including Conference Overnight Guests.


WELCOME! Register at the Front Desk and then check the Starboard (chalkboard with information about all conference activities) located in the lobby. We will have cookies on the front porch of Oceanic.

Please wait until AFTER ORIENTATION to go to your rooms. This gives the Island staff time to unload your luggage and deliver it to your room. This travel day is a LONG day. Please bring your patience and sense of humor.

There will be an optional New Shoaler Orientation in the Lobby. The time will be posted at the Dock. There is a MANDATORY Fire and Water Orientation in Elliot. Everyone must attend – no excuses! The time will be posted at the Dock.

  • There is a 5:30 Social Hour. Optional of course!
  • Dinner is at 6:30.
  • Chapel is at 9:30. Optional of course!
  • 11:00 starts “quiet time”.

The Snack Bar is open for Lime Rickeys and ice cream in the evening.


Electronics and Communication

A week on Star is a chance to get closer to the natural world and fellow conferees without cell phones, iPods, and other noise makers. You can do it! While we understand that you may need to remain in contact with the mainland, we ask that when turned on, cell phones be set to vibrate mode. Whenever possible, calls should be conducted from conferee bedrooms or other private areas. Service can be spotty on the island and hard on phone batteries, so don't forget to bring your charging cord. You can recharge at the front desk, if necessary.

The Island recently upgraded its wi-fi coverage for mobile devices to facilitate better functionality for Island programs. This service is also available for personal use. In addition, there is a small business center in Cottage D with a few computers, a printer, and a copier (usage fees apply).

E-cigarettes are allowed on the island for use in designated smoking areas only. However, e-cigarette power sources NOT approved by the manufacturer, and e-cigarettes and/or batteries that have been modified in any way, are NOT permitted on Star Island.

Medical Care:

There is a nurse available for emergencies at all times. Regular clinic hours at the First Aid Station are one hour before each meal.

Due to increasing costs of medical supplies, the Island has instituted a $10 flat service fee per person with your initial visit to the First Aid Station. There will be no additional fee for follow-up visits for the same medical problem. There will be no charge for retrieval of prescription drugs stored at the First Aid Station.

Be sure to alert the Island and Chairs of any significant change in your health status or any illness/allergy/disease we should be aware of. Please note that under the best of circumstances it can take two hours to transport someone from the island to the hospital. A new transport service has been implemented through DART (Dartmouth Air Rescue Transport) but is restricted to life threatening emergencies with a cost charged to the patient in the $17,000 range.


You can pay for each purchase at the island Bookstore and Gift Shop, or you can establish a personal account and pay at the end of the week. The stores accept payment by check, cash, American Express, Visa, or MasterCard. Your Hotel bill also can be paid with a credit card, check, or cash. The preferred method of payment is cash or check. The Snack Bar currently requires cash for all purchases. All bills and accounts must be paid before you leave the island.

You can cash personal checks - up to $100 total for the week.

Bring your check book for the Arts Auction and the Annual Fund (if you haven’t already donated)!

If you plan to attend Social Hours (we hope you will!), the recommended contribution is $5.00 per event (cash only, please). Like the Art Auction proceeds, all Social Hour donations go toward the Star Arts Scholarship Fund.

Gratuities and Tips

The Star Island Conference Center is staffed by a group of young people affectionately known as “Pelicans”. Pelicans are salaried employees and cannot accept gratuities. To show your appreciation, please contribute to the Star Island Annual Fund, which also benefits the Pelicans.


1. Firearms and Fireworks of any kind are strictly prohibited. Violators will be required to leave the island on the next boat with no refund of fees deposits or costs.

2. Alcoholic beverages may not be consumed in public spaces on the Island unless such activity is directly related to a conference sponsored event. There is no tolerance for alcohol consumption by anyone under the age of 21, nor any illegal drug use by anyone in the Conference. Violators will be required to leave the island on the next boat with no refund of fees deposits or costs.

3. Smoking and open flames (e-cigarettes,matches, candles, etc.) are prohibited in all Star island buildings, on the grounds on any part of the Island, including the rocks, with the exception of a conference sponsored bonfire. Smoking is only allowed while in the presence of a red cigarette butt can and these cans cannot be moved. Violators will be required to leave the island on the next boat with no refund of fees deposits or costs.

4. Oxygen or helium bottles cannot be transported on the boat.

5. Fire Drill / Emergency Drills are conducted weekly. There are two fire alarms – the blaring of horns, sirens and electric bells and the rapid and continuous ringing of the porch bell and/or the chapel bell. When you hear the fire/emergency signal, you MUST evacuate to the flagpole on the front lawn and await instructions. Violators will be required to leave the island on the next boat with no refund of fees deposits or costs. If you have mobility issues, you need to notify Barbara Reynolds, Registrar at .

6. Use environmentally safe products (toiletries) on the Island and recycle as much as you can. If you arrive with any bottles, cans or batteries, please leave with them, even if they are empty.

7. Visitors: The Front Desk must be notified of guests visiting conferees for a day trip one day in advance. Meals for these visitors must be arranged through the Conference Chairs prior to the day of arrival and on a “space available” basis. Visitors eating in the Dining Hall must be signed in and are expected to pay for their meals in advance at the Front Desk.

Star Island Annual Fund

The Star Island Annual Fund is vital to continuing life on Star Island. Room and board fees do not cover the cost of maintaining the island. In addition, grants and outside funding sources require 100% member participation to insure their funding. Therefore, we ask each Arts attendee to make a contribution to the Annual Fund. Without Star Island, there cannot be a Star Arts Conference.


After arriving back in Portsmouth from our week on Star, the Steamship Company asks that we pack our cars and move out of the lot as quickly as possible. If you are going into town for lunch or shopping, please drive out of the ferry parking lot and park elsewhere. The lot needs to be empty before 11:00 when the next conference attendees begin to arrive.


A big Thank You to the Old Shoalers for coming back and to the New Shoalers for becoming members of Star Arts! Please step up and volunteer. We are a true community and the week works best when everyone participates! The Star Arts Conference Steering Committee looks forward to greeting you on the dock with the Star Island cheer: S-T-A-R S-T-A-R Oceanic Oceanic Rah Rah Rah! You DID come back! You DID come back!

See you on the dock!

Barbara Reynolds Registrar, Star Arts