Last weekend I traded in my Admiral-awesomeness hat for that of a DeTour Reef Lighthouse Keeper!

A few months ago, our friends Doug and Sue asked if we wanted to join in on the fun. Ummmmm, experience life as a lightouse keeper on a 1931 offshore historic lighthouse?!?! Yes, of course we do!!

The 83-foot tall lighthouse is a strategic and historic landmark that marks a dangerous reef to help guide ship traffic from and to Lake Huron and Lake Superior via  St. Marys River. A restoration of the structure was completed in 2004, and in 2005 an overnight keeper program and public tours began.

The Light is located in northern Lake Huron at the far eastern end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and sits one mile offshore. The views were spectacular!

Such a beautiful lighthouse!

And since it cannot be reached by land, we were boated out to the lighthouse and climbed a 20 foot ladder to the base of the lighthouse. Yay for the harness! 

We resided at the lighthouse Friday through Sunday. Our duties were cleaning and light maintenance, greeting visitors, keeping a log, and assisting with the tours of the lighthouse.

Lighthouse Keeper, Sue on duty

Our fancy digs for the weekend ~ the lighthouse keeper’s room, the assistant lighthouse keeper’s room, the study and the kitchen (complete with a 1931 GE Hotpoimt Range).

I think they failed to mention the incredible amount of  bird poop! We needed the *house* clean for our guests, so Doug and Rob immediately got to work.

Hours of poop clean up and they’re still smiling!

Watching the freighters go to and from Lake Huron was such an experience. We saw some big boys! Like 1004 feet big!

Every time one went by we sounded the fog horn in hopes of a response – but these guys  were all business.


In fact, one of my favorite things to do all weekend long was blow the horn! It was SO LOUD and made us laugh hysterically!

One of our *duties* was to serve cheese and crackers and bake fresh chocolate chip cookies when the guests arrived. So on Saturday when we saw the tour boat heading our way, the galley wenches got busy.


Unfortunately, it was a false alarm! The seas and wind were so bad that all tours for the day were cancelled. We were so bummed. We were really looking forward to hoisting some folks up the Light and showing them around. On the plus side though, more chocolate chip cookies for us me!

By late afternoon we were a little stir crazy. Bug killing was a major highlight! We learned our lesson from the prior night, so Saturday night was spent by candlelight and iPhone flashlights.

Bring it on Mr. Fish Fly

Even flew a kite (or attempted to fly a kite) from a lighthouse!

The Tower was way cool and super scary all the way up there!

We’ll keep the light on!
Stairway to heaven

We woke up early on Sunday to catch the sunrise. It was stunning! And the owl even enjoyed it!

No, it is not real…lol

We were packed and ready to go on Sunday when surprise, surprise…here comes a tour! Yayyyyyy, visitors!! Time to make the cookies. It was super exciting, we had three kids and four adults to hoist and talk to about the lighthouse.

I wouldn’t have changed this experience for anything. There was lots of work involved, cleaning and cooking to do, bug killing, but the memories will last forever!

See you all from Lake Michigan. I hear there’s fudge on Mackinac Island!

Over and out!

xo, The Admiral

3 thoughts on “WE’LL KEEP THE LIGHT ON!

  1. I’ve read about keeping the lighthouses and it is on my bucket list. How fun that you got to do it with friends!! I’m gonna have to look into doing this! HI! to Doug and Sue!!!


  2. Didn’t see anyone diving off the lighthouse in to the clear blue waters of the lake. I’m sure the water’s at least 65 deg F…


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