For more than two decades, this couple has been constructing and revamping this compound of twelve floating platforms they call Freedom Cove.
It all started in 1991 when a winter storm toppled some massive trees, and the couple saw it as a convenient chance to salvage the wood and build a home for themselves. They brokered a deal on some steel platforms from a defunct fish farm, and these provide the foundation for all the structures. Not only are they totally off the grid, but they’re also floating freely, tethered only by a massive chain tied to a chunk of shore in a remote cove near Vancouver in British Columbia. Nonetheless, the only viable access is by boat.
Catherine King and Wayne Adams are both artists and see this unusual living arrangement as a work of art in and of itself. Wayne is a carver and Catherine a painter, though her talents extend to music, dance, and the written word, and they garner a bit of income through their arts. It was a desire for their artistic expression to be inspired by nature’s wonders that brought them to this wilderness retreat. But, their main objective is simplicity of lifestyle that requires little monetary input and utilizes salvaged materials.
There are 12 interlocking floating docks that comprise the compound of turquoise and hot pink structures, along with five greenhouses, an art studio, a dance floor, and a lighthouse lookout. Wayne and Catherine are self-sustaining and obtain their food from gardening and fishing. A half acre of floating space is dedicated to gardening, mostly in pots and raised beds. Their water flows from a pure cascade and rainwater, when weather permits, or is captured in fresh snow. Until recently, their power was supplied by solar panels, but they’ve had to resort to some minimal use of a generator until a plan for repair or replacement emerges.
Every so often, Wayne re-configures the compound by moving the docks around with his boat, because, why not? After all, he’s an artist, and this floating palette is dynamic. And, every few weeks, the duo journeys the 10 miles to town by boat. It gives them a chance to get materials and sell some art. But, Wayne says he gets “landsick” and doesn’t like to be away from home for long.
Observers wonder if they ever feel lonely in such isolation from the outside world. But, Catherine and Wayne stay busy just maintaining their basic subsistence and, let’s face it, artists need solitude to nurture their creative thought process. And, there are visitors from time to time. You can even book a tour if you want a first-hand experience.
The couple, now in their 60s, raised their two kids on the premises and look forward to spending what’s left of their lives right at home doing more of they’ve always done, just living a creative and sustainable life.