Due to its remote location, Smuttynose is home to a variety of wildlife. The most prevalent of these are the sea birds, namely gulls which come in several varieties. Seagulls use Smuttynose as a breeding ground, making their nests on the ground among the rocks. This is important to know if you plan on visiting any time during the month of June or early July when the gull chicks are quite young. If you go near a gull chick, even by accident, the mother will do her best to try to kill you. And by this I am being quite serious. The only way to keep yourself from being dive bombed is to hold a tall stick over your head. The mother gulls will attack the top of the stick instead of your eyes.
Smuttynose also provides a resting place for harp seals during certain months of the year as well as for puffins, which are not normally seen that far to the south.
Smuttynose is a giant, barren glacial rock so the things to do here are fairly limited. One thing that we used to do here as kids is cliff dive. Acalpolco it's not, but there are still some pretty good size cliffs on the back side of the island. The best ones for diving are the "inlet-type" cliffs where two cliff faces are separated by a channel of very deep water.
The best thing about cliff diving here was all of the really cool sea animals you got to see attached to the rocks: hundreds of colorful starfish, anemones, seastars. It was just beautiful. The worst thing was the temperature. The water never got much warmer than 50 F even at the height of summer. And of course once you jump in, there is only one way to get out: climbing!
If you want to see Smuttynose there is only one way to get there: rowboat. From the mainland you have to take the ferry to Star Island, rent a rowboat and row across Gosport Harbor. As a young girl of 11 I took enormous pride in the fact that I could row the whole way there and back all by myself.
If you go to Smuttynose to explore or to go cliff diving I recommend wearing good sneakers at all times, even if diving. The rocks here are jagged and sharp and can cut your feet. They are also very slippery when wet, making it easy for you to lose you footing and fall.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunblock is really important here, as the sunlight reflecting off of the water can give you a pretty nasty burn. Also, because Smuttynose is a rock, there is nothing to eat or drink here, so I recommend bringing water and a snack or two.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Of course since you will be coming by boat you should have a life jacket.
Miscellaneous: Bring a person with you and maybe a cellphone, too. This isn't a good place to have an accident when you are by yourself.
In nearby Portsmouth, NH there is a popular brewery named after the island, the Smuttynose Brewing Company. Their beers are quite good and widely available throughout New England. If you are in Portsmouth be sure to visit their brewpub!