The Floating Gardens of Freedom Cove - Wayne & Catherine's Botanical Paradise
by Sander Jain, Tofino
Wild rugged coastline, vast sandy beaches, ancient temperate rainforest with towering trees, bears, wolves and whales, surf culture and small town living is what visitors usually expect to experience when they come to Tofino and Clayoquot Sound.
If you think that Tofino is the very end of the road, then imagine Freedom Cove to be a place way beyond that, floating in the midst of Clayoquot Sound’s remote inlets.
Tucked into a corner of Cypress Bay, Freedom Cove is a surprising spectacle to even the most familiar and old-established west coasters. Nestled below a rock face in the calm waters at the end of a small cove, this place awaits visitors with the materialized vision of artists Wayne and Catherine Adams. As if surfaced from the ocean floor or placed into this location from outer space, Freedom Cove is an unsuspected floating wonderland of off the grid sustainable living and passion for gardening, a refined and ensouled human creation in the midst of wild west coast habitat. Being the result of decades-long dedication to implementing an artistic vision and the complementary skill sets of Wayne’s artistic building and carving work as well as Catherine’s sophisticated gardening skills, Freedom Cove Floating Gardens is the ongoing life project of its two creators and residents.
About a dozen platforms with wooden buildings, painted in eccentric magenta and turquoise, greenhouses with strawberries and other food plants, work sheds, trick fountains, a lighthouse shower (!) flower beds and countless plant pots, all tied together and connected with each other by walkways, build the floating cluster that has been accomodating Wayne and Catherine along with their botanical paradise for already 20 years. Freedom Cove has survived many west coast storms, and while in the winter months the freshwater supply for the plants is no issue, in summer, most water comes from a waterfall at the end of the bay. Even a hen house could once be found in this masterpiece of sustainable living, but predatory visitors that started swimming over to the floating island from its wilderness surroundings made Wayne and Catherine give up on livestock. Freedom Cove Floating Gardens is an ongoing project that continues to grow and change under the dedication and hard work of its visionaries as well as the influence of Clayoquot Sound’s wild nature.
The couple warmly welcomes visitors and is eager to share their piece of art with interested people who will get the chance to stroll about the floating gardens and gain insight into life on Clayoquot Sound’s most unique island. You will hear about how it came into being and be amazed when listening to Wayne’s life stories of extensive traveling and adventure before he found his home in Freedom Cove and about Catherine’s former life as a professional dancer.
If this is not yet enough to blow you away, you will definitely be more than overwhelmed if Wayne shows you some of his unparalleled artwork. Lucky guests will be shown around his cosy and beautifully decorated home where the artist also keeps his magnificent ivory carvings including preciously decorated mammoth tusks (It is understood that all ivory comes from recorded sources), sculptured berg crystals and breathtakingly splendid and delicate feather jewelry as well as grand feather mask decorations which are like nothing you have ever seen before. His precious art pieces are for sale.
Along with many beautiful sensory stimuli and a truly inspiring insight into a unique life and artistic vision, every visitor is invited to take home one of the self-made sculptured candles that Wayne carves with a musk ox tooth and which will remind you of your visit at Freedom Cove Floating Gardens.
Local tour operator Browning Pass Charters (www.browningpass.com - 250.725.3435) offers three-hour motor boat cruises to Freedom Cove, or if you feel like going under your own steam, Tofino Sea Kayaking (www.tofinoseakayaking.com 250.725.4222) has scheduled paddling tours going to the Floating Gardens, including motor boat transportation to the kayak launching point as well as orientation and basic review of kayaking skills.
There will be time for exploration, relaxation, photography and sketching and snacks as well as a sumptuous lunch of West Coast cuisine will be served at the destination. Certified kayak guides with extensive knowledge of Clayoquot Sound, quality kayak gear as well as your own steam will bring you to the true end of the road...
Contact the tour operators directly for more information!
Sander Jain is a wildlife photographer that makes Tofino his home. Visit his website at www.sanderjain.com
- September 2012 in Tofino
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- The Floating Gardens at Freedom Cove
- Tofino tide table for September 2012
- Tofino surf reports for September 2012
- Community Directory: Goods & Services in Tofino
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Freedom Cove near Tofino features the beautiful floating gardens created by artists Catherine King and Wayne Adams. Tofino photographer Sander Jain shares his impressions in Tofino Time Magazine from September 2011.