From the moment you push off from Nanaimo aboard the Protection Island ferry, you are granted a license to chill. The getaway is just a five-minute boat ride from the bustling city to the small island in Nanaimo’s harbour. “It’s really quite unique,” said Protection Island resident Milena Essig. “It’s not at all an isolated island.” The iconic floating Dinghy Dock Pub is in the heart of Protection Island. “And I’ve had lots of times at the pub,” laughed Essig. “It’s about as west coast Vancouver Island as you can get,” said Dinghy Dock Pub General Manager Marty Campbell. “This is where people come and go. This is where everybody starts their day and finishes their day in town.” Wakes are held along with weddings at the location and jam nights always fill the pub with laughter and cheers. “It’s just got a different feel than anything else I’ve ever seen,” said realtor Mike McKillican. So after learning that this Island fixture and the ferry that operates it is now up for sale, residents are anxiously wondering who the new buyer will be. “The ferry that we’re on right now belongs to the pub,” said Essig. “And that’s what takes us back and forth every day.” It’s on the market for $2.6 million complete with ferry and an oceanfront home. Realtor Mike McKillican says there’s been a lot of international interest with buyers inquiring from as far away as Australia and Boston. “Yes it’s a big buzz right now,” said McKillican. “We’ve had 11 inquiries looking at it already.” And every fixture of the highly unique pub comes with it. “This is kind of one of those all-in-one packages,” said McKillican.