How One Couple Has Lived For 29 Years On An Island They Built Themselves

Twenty years ago, a couple decided to try and create their dream home- a self-sustaining floating island that allows them to live completely off-grid. 

When two people fall in love, they dream of their future together, their home, their everyday life, their careers, their children, them two growing old together.

Yet, while this dream home can be different, and I bet not many of you have actually got an idea to build a floating island!

About 20 years ago, a Canadian couple, Wayne Adams and Catherine King started building their home, called “Freedom Cove”. Their small, private island floats off coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and is built on 12 separate floating platforms. Creating a self-sustained floating island was not an easy task. They used all the life hacks they can think.

The dwelling is painted in teal and hot pink, and has five greenhouses, an art gallery, a dance floor, a studio, and a guest lighthouse.

Adams says that they have done many different things in life and have had hard times, so they were “prepared for how different the lifestyle would be out here. “

Adams is a carver, and King is a painter, dancer, writer, and musician.

King says:

“We wanted to live close to nature because as artists that’s what inspires us. That’s why we decided to build this floating home. It works ecologically, to limit as much as possible its impact on the environment.”

Plus, their home is self-sustainable.

They grow and harvest crops on the half-acre of land they own, retrieve water from a waterfall during the summer, and collect rainwater during the winter. With the help of pipes, the water travels to their crops and house.

They eat fresh food only and don’t use a fridge or freezer. They also have fishing equipment, and Adams paddles out on a canoe to fish. There is also a trapdoor in the home from where he can fish indoors.

The 14 solar panels provide them with heat and electricity, and there is a generator in case they broke. It provides around 3,000 watts of power, which is equivalent to about 12 hours of light daily.

The greenhouses grow food throughout the entire year.

The floating garden, made entirely from recycled materials, is rich in vegetables, herbs, berries, edible plants, and fruit trees. King explains they also do lot of composting, so they eat fresh and seasonal food all the time.

Yet, every few weeks, they travel to town to buy whatever they need. As King says, they consume “ fairly little and try to avoid food wrapping as much as possible.”

The two artists use their spare time to create, they paint, write, compose music, dance, and carve. They also welcome visitors to their home and sell their art to local shops.

They started the construction of their home in 1992, after a brutal winter and a storm that tore down many trees in the area. They gathered the wood, and when the owner said they can keep it, they decided to start on the home.

They started building with old fish-farm technology, used a handsel and hammer, and no power tools, and tied the island to shore with thick lines instead of using an anchor.

On their floating garden, they raised their two children. According to King, this life in the wilderness is a “constant inspiration”. Apart from pests, one of the biggest issues they face on their island are winter storms.

They use canvas sheets to protect the crops and connect their platforms to shore with thick rope.

King said:

“When we first started living on the island, all we had to do was pay tax to the regional and municipal authorities. That’s still the case, right up to this day. But now, it’s no longer possible to build floating homes in the area.

We’re the only people living in such a house in the entire region. Everyone that comes to visit us — loads of people — tell us that our house is one of a kind.”

If you wonder whether the couple likes their off-grid style of living, you should know that King is certain that that is “how I will live for the rest of my life.”

When asked if he ever gets seasick, Adams smiled, and said:

 “No, but when I go to town, I get land-sick.” 


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: