Ettie Newlands

Talk about social distancing!

For the last 29 years, a couple has lived on a very private compound off the coast of Vancouver Island.

It can only be reached by water, and they say it’s their own personal piece of Paradise.

Catherine King is an artist, a former ballerina and a student of homeopathy. She had been living in a big city — Tofino, British Columbia — and says she “needed the peace of the wilderness.”

Wayne Adams is also an artist, a sculptor, and obviously quite the builder.

They were living in an apartment and wanted their own home, but because they were both struggling artists, they couldn’t afford one.

So, they created one.

They gave away their stuff and accumulated recycled or salvaged materials to work with.

Wayne built 12 interconnected floating — not anchored — platforms to support the now multiple buildings on the island, tethered it to the shore, and added on periodically.

The buildings are, not surprisingly, bright pink and teal.

Wayne says he did everything with a handsaw and a hammer, without any power tools.

“I know every nail by name,” he says.

They call their home, which weighs a million pounds, Freedom Cove.

It includes a house, a dance floor, an art gallery, a candle factory, a lighthouse and solar panels.

It includes four greenhouses where they grow fruits and veggies, and it has a floating tank for waste management.

The couple generates their own electricity with photovoltaics and they drink rainwater and water from a waterfall that’s nearby.

The couple is almost 100% self-sufficient and they don’t have to leave their compound very often.

They even raised their two kids on Freedom Cove.

On nice days, Wayne fishes for dinner in a canoe. But when it’s too windy, he stretches out on the living room couch and fishes for dinner through a plexiglass opening in the floor.

They sell their art and they sell the fruits and vegetables they grow on what they call their floating food garden.

They also give tours between June and September and people can learn more about Browning Pass Charters on www.browning pass.com.

Wayne says that when people tell them this just isn’t a normal way of life, his response is always, “Thank you.”

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