A canoe trip started with a marriage proposal and ended with a water rescue, giving a metro Detroit couple a story they have told to "awws" from some people and friendly teasing from others.
Nathan Bluestein, 27, of Northville and May Gorial, 32, of Madison Heights set out Saturday in a canoe in Wild Fowl Bay in Huron County in the Thumb.
Bluestein had been planning it 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."
When Gorial was distracted by a loud boat passing in the choppy waters, he tossed the bottle in the water. They retrieved it -- inside was a sheet of paper, soaked in tea and burned around the edges to age it, 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 that she figured was for someone else. Then came a second piece of paper -- this one in English.
"You're the love of my life," Gorial recalled it saying. "I can't imagine spending the rest of my life without you. That being said ... "
Bluestein pulled out a ring and asked Gorial to marry him.
"I accepted, very happily," she said.
The two talked and snapped pictures. In their excitement, they didn't realize the tide had taken them a little too far from shore.
The couple tried paddling back with all their strength. But with strong winds and 3- to 5-foot waves, they didn't get anywhere.
"I was getting seasick at that point," Gorial said.
The current was pushing the canoe in the direction of North Island, several miles from the main shore.
The couple called for help -- first to family members and then 911, so police could use GPS to track them. Huron County Sheriff's Deputies Sid Schock and Matthew Clark arrived as night fell to bring the pair and their canoe safely back.
A full moon came out and fireworks blasted off as Bluestein and Gorial rode on the patrol boat -- something they joked was part of the planned proposal.
"It was really amazing and unforgettable," Gorial said.
The experience taught the couple, who ended up 4-5 miles from where they should have been, that they can get through anything together, Bluestein said.
"The way I look at it ... she's my best friend and the love of my life," he said.
The two have not set a date for the wedding, but said when the invitations go out, two new acquaintances each will get one -- the deputies who showed up to help.
"If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't have seen the wedding day," Gorial said.
Jess needs some advice! She went out with this guy and after she started "following" him on Instagram she noticed he posts a ton of "selfies." She's thinking he may be a high maintenance kind of guy. What do you think?