We built our own floating island on the river using old fishing tools
A couple spent 27 years building their home on a man-made floating island. Grow their own food and build their own supplies.
Wayne Adams and Catherine King spent more than £1 million building Freedom Cove, located on the coast of Vancouver Island in western Canada.
The project began with a small floating house built using wood that washed ashore after a storm and old fishing tools.
Wayne and Catherine moved to the cove in 1992 and have been building their self-sufficient home ever since.
“When we first started, the first thing of course was to have a roof over our heads,” Katherine told the FLORB YouTube channel.
“So we built the house that was half the size it is now.”
Over the course of more than two decades, they gradually added new buildings, greenhouses and an outdoor dance floor.
Now, the couple has created a completely off-grid floating home, where they can grow most of their food and earn a living as artists.
Katherine explained how the island has a secure Styrofoam armored base that can last a lifetime and how Wayne’s engineering skills keep the entire environment stable even in extreme weather conditions.
“Metal-based systems make it better for us in terms of durability when we have storms,” she said.
“We tied Wayne to the beach with large ropes in a spider web formation, so when the wind hits us, we move back and forth in one piece instead of buildings crashing into each other.”
Wayne revealed his inspiration for living off the land but without disturbing the local biodiversity.
“I was inspired by birds,” Wayne revealed. “They are the ones that have slept and built nests without permission.”
“I use materials around me, whatever is here, recycled, to do this.
“Most of what I’ve done here has come through business and my work.”
Catherine explained that nature was her inspiration behind her ideal lifestyle.
“My dream was to live and grow my own food to live as self-sufficient as possible and live in the rhythms of nature,” she said.
The pair pondered whether or not to continue with the ambitious project, as they admitted they were generally exhausted.
“We are a team on this project. We agreed and talked to each other about what we wanted to do for a short period of time.
“After 10 years we look at each other and decide whether we want to keep doing this or not.
“It takes all your money, all your time, all you have to do.
“We’ve now been at this 27 years and are enjoying the way things are going.”
Catherine revealed how she and Wayne talked about it the first day they met.
They started by swapping houses with a friend and stayed in their cabin.
Katherine, an avid dancer, built a dance floor on the spot so she could show off her moves.
Its garden was one of the largest expansions on the island.
After starting out as a salad garden, it now operates several floats and four greenhouses.
“I can now grow almost anything I want,” Katherine said.
The couple went on to build their own gallery to display their beloved artwork instead of displaying it in nearby towns.
“Seeing the amazing water, forests and wildlife all around me and seeing the beauty of what we have created to add to that is an incredible thing to wake up to,” Catherine admitted.
“I can’t imagine living any other way.
“We live to the rhythm of the moon and the tides, not to the rhythms of corporations and business, and this is vital to me.
“Our dream is to live here until the end of our days.”