Nathan Bluestein, of Northville, and May Gorial, of Madison Heights, set out by canoe Saturday in Wild Fowl Bay near Caseville, about 110 miles north of Detroit, the Huron County sheriff's department said. Gorial, 32, accepted the proposal, but strong wind and waves kept them from returning to shore.
Bluestein, 27, told the Detroit Free Press that he had been planning the proposal for months. He tucked a message in a bottle inside a lunch bag that he brought on the trip.
"I made sure that she never could touch the lunch bag," he said "I had it around my arm the whole time."
Inside the bottle was a sheet of paper, soaked in tea and burned around the edges, with a poem written in French. Gorial, a French teacher at Bishop Foley Catholic High School in Madison Heights, began reading and translating the poem before finding a proposal written in English on another piece of paper.
"The way I look at it ... she's my best friend and the love of my life," Bluestein said.
The two talked and snapped pictures, and didn't realize they were too far from land. They ended up on North Island and the sheriff's department sent the two deputies by boat from Caseville. Bluestein and Gorial don't have a wedding date set, but the deputies will definitely be invited to the event.
"If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't have seen the wedding day," Gorial said.