Freedom Cove, Clayoquot Sound
27 June 2012 | posted at Tahsis
Photo: The floathouse “Fireweed” belonging to Wayne Adams and Catherine King in Freedom Cove, next to Quait Bay
Every time we visit our friends Catherine and Wayne, they have a new addition to their floating complex of magenta and turquoise to show us. This year the big item is a pole, carved and raised by Wayne -- and painted bright magenta. The pole is typical of their floathouse -- part serious art and part whimsy. Also typical is another new addition: a strawberry greenhouse bolstering their ability to feed themselves. “Almost ripe,” says Catherine, pointing to the green berries among luxurious plants.
Next door to the strawberry house is their candle factory. Wayne and Catherine are both carvers who make fantastic figures of ivory. Their carvings are expensive (they don’t sell a lot of them) so before selling them they make molds from them and then make candles. That way people like us can enjoy them too.
Over dinner that night on the Osprey, they bring us up to date on happenings in their lives in Clayoquot Sound. For years they have been paying a fee to the government as squatters to keep their floathouse on Crown Land. Suddenly the government has announced they are illegal.
“The government wants everybody to live in cities,” Wayne told us, reminding me of the owner of the Boardwalk Bistro in Bamfield who told us, “these small towns are withering and the government doesn’t give a s- - t.”
Wayne and Catherine work hard and live simple but colorful lives on an income less than some of us pay in car payments. Living on their art work would be impossible if they had to pay what the government is requesting. But Wayne is hopeful he’ll be able to work something out. Still, things may change and it’s worth visiting them and seeing their life style while you can. And be sure to buy some of their candles.
You won’t find the name Freedom Cove on the chart; it’s Wayne and Catherine’s name for their unnamed cove. Here’s how to find them. Anchor in Quait Bay and take your dinghy out the east entrance, leaving the small island to starboard. Follow the Vancouver Island shore until you come to a small inlet with two rocks at its entrance. (If you pass a fish farm, you’ve gone too far.) At first you’ll think you must have the wrong inlet, you won’t see any house. Then you’ll come to a small green floathouse. That’s not it! (It belongs go their son.) Keep going. When you round a bend and see a fantastic complex of magenta and turquoise, you’ll know you’ve found it. Catherine and Wayne will welcome you. Tell them Steve and Elsie sent you.