British Columbia·Photos

Walking on water: the Tofino couple who built their own floating island home

Catherine King and Wayne Adams might be the ultimate do-it-yourselfers: they've built their own floating island home complete with lighthouse, yard, four greenhouses and a dance floor just off the coast of Vancouver Island.

The compound — which includes a lighthouse, four greenhouses and a dance floor — floats off Vancouver Island

The island includes a house, yard, lighthouse, four greenhouses and a dance floor. It floats in a secluded cove off Vancouver Island, near Tofino. (Catherine King)

Call them the ultimate do-it-yourselfers.

For the past two decades, Catherine King and Wayne Adams have been slowly building a floating fortress in a secluded cove near Tofino, British Columbia.

It all began 24 years ago, when a wicked storm blew in a pile of wood near their beach-side cabin.

When the owner of the lumber gifted the couple the stormy bounty, King and Adams decided to follow their dream and build a floating home.

"Wayne started building the house on the beach at that cabin, and it was about three months later that it was done enough that we could move into it and we towed it over to the cove," explained King.

Catherine King and Wayne Adams have spent 24 years building up their floating island home. (Catherine King/Facebook)

Now, the couple has continued to build upon the floating compound — which they dub "Freedom Cove" — using salvaged materials, adding a lighthouse, four greenhouses, a dance floor, an art gallery and many other amenities.

A large part of the structure is an old fish farm, and King says they even have an "ocean lookout" made from a piece of plexiglass from a torn-down hockey rink.

"You can look down and see all of the sea life and even the otters and seals stick their head up in there."

The floating compound includes a lighthouse, pictured here. (Catherine King/Facebook)

The couple has designed the compound to be self-sufficient with four greenhouses — "we can grow everything but an olive grove" laughs Adams — and they can even fish from their living room.

However, Adams says the floating life is not all rosy.

"Nature's a dictator. I gotta get up in the morning and I'm Mr Fix-it. If something's wrong, I get on it right away."

King says the structure has to weather storms every winter, which can lead to regular rebuilding.

"The storms have reshaped the format of our systems over the past few years. Last year, we had to rebuild the dance floor area."

Catherine King stands in one of her organic vegetable gardens that makes up her floating compound. (Catherine King/Facebook)

As for anyone who is interested in the sea-faring floating life to say goodbye to civilization — Adams says the couple still has to register the property. It has a floating GPS number and the couple say they pay land, municipal and provincial taxes.

But it's still a life they love — and recommend.

"We feel very good about it," King said.

"It's been our intention to share with people what we do and inspire people to follow their own dreams and live life the way they want to."

Catherine King and Wayne Adams have used a magenta-turquoise colour scheme throughout their floating island. (Wayne Adams/Facebook)

With files from The Early Edition


To listen to the audio, click the link labelled Meet the dwellers of a floating fortress

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