Hart-Miller Island

We woke up to a beautiful Sunday morning with perfect sunny weather and light wind.  Since we had spent yet another week working on our many projects on the list of things to get done,  we decided to head over to Hart-Miller Island to relax for the day. Anchors away. We didn’t waste a minute dropping the lines and leaving the dock.

At one time Hart-Miller was two separate islands. “Hart” and “Miller”, which creates a natural island trio linking to Pleasure Island in the Chesapeake Bay that has a sandy beach, hiking and camping. We even heard of a floating Pizza Boat there on the weekends. 

We stopped by Markels (amazing customer service if you’re ever in the area) to gas up and get started on our way. As we made our way into The bay, we ran straight into our notorious sandbar. I’m convinced at this point this sandbar moves with each tide. Randomly moving and shifting to a new place twice a day!

Since we are now experienced “run agrounders” ( this making our fourth run aground) we were able to maneuver off the sandbar in less than 30 minutes while thinking to myself “we’re getting good at this!!”. Willow decided to use the help of Navionics which gave him precise directions to get off the sandbar successfully.  








We then decided to rely on the Navionics app to guide us the rest of the day. We had been told we could ease through a short cut of the Island called “the cut through”  which would save us real time and save us a trip all the way around the island to get to the beach. We decided to try it.

As we maneuvered our way toward the cut through our depth finder started going toward five feet quickly. Willow checked Navionics App, which showed we could make it through on our current path.

We were discussing the validity of this app when we ran aground, again. This time it was a bit more scary than any of the other times. I spent a few seconds cursing the app under my breath while anxiety built. This time we hit something hard.

While Willow attempted to maneuver us off the sandbar, I kept trying to find a comparison to this since it was so new to what we’re use to. I thought of people who live in California that endures earthquakes so often.  Never knowing when one would start and wondering If they would have a home left when it stopped.

Most boaters have at least one fear. Whether it be running aground, hitting another boat or fire. We weren’t in deep waters. I had no fear we would drown today. It is the fear of running aground. It was the thought that we could lose everything we have worked so hard for in a second.

Willow did successfully get us maneuvered off of the sandbar. By the time we were free, we weren’t so excited to see the new beach and winds were picking up.  We ended up turning around by the time we made it to the end of the island and head back to our new-found sandy bottom beach area.

we later discovered we had entered the channel on the wrong side.

User error. Noted.







On our way back the weather channel on the radio said a wind advisory was in effect, starting at 6 pm with winds expected from 18 to 33 knots. This is all new to us, so we didn’t regret heading back to the sandy bottom beach.

Once we anchored we finished lunch, got in a quick swim and started on some work to get done by the end of the day. After a few minutes Willow discovered the anchor hadn’t held, causing us to drift back toward the Sandy bottom (where we could run around, as we woke up to discover one morning).

He pulled us back out to a little over seven feet and anchored us again. After a little while longer we discovered we had drifted into the beach too closely, yet again.

This time he decided to move us back far enough that we won’t get pulled back into the beach. I dropped the anchor to find a force almost pull me off the boat after it would’ve hit ground.  Willow explained this time we would let the line out farther so we would get a better hold to not drift again. This did make perfect sense.  I quickly cleated off the rope to hold the anchor rope right at 25 feet, or so I thought.

We were inside the cabin while Willow had literally just downloaded and launched an anchor alarm app called Drag Queen. This was a great invention, by the way. Anytime you move beyond a certain point, a loud burst will let you know you may have lost anchorage. 

He was setting the alarm timer when he decided to check the anchor since the app obviously wasn’t working properly as it kept sounding the alarm. 

It was all gone… Anchor. Rope. Chain. Gone. Turns out I did not cleat the anchor securely enough.  So, now I have a second fear. Losing our anchor at sea.  This closes a long, eventful Sunday that shall pass. Tomorrow is a new day to experience even more.  



We all carry these things inside that no one else can see. They hold us down like anchors. They drown us out at the sea.  ~ Author Unknown