When Jaydon Boughen decided to propose to his girlfriend, he picked a place that had played a big role in their long-distance relationship — a B.C. Ferries vessel.
Ferries have been a fixture in the couple’s lives since they met in May 2017, when Ashly Gait lived in Duncan and Boughen was in Chilliwack. A ferry was where the pair first saw each other in Canada after meeting in Iceland during a work trip, and they’d both spent dozens of weekends on the boat, travelling to see each other.
So, Boughen popped the question to Gait while the two sailed through Active Pass — the mid-point of the trip between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen — on the Spirit of Vancouver Island on Dec. 20. They were heading to Chilliwack to see Boughen’s family.
B.C. Ferries shared news of the proposal in a Twitter message on Friday.
“Doing it on the ferry had so much meaning to us,” Gait said. “We basically lived on the ferries every other weekend for our two years of dating.”
Boughen grew up in Chilliwack, and had only been to the Island a handful of times before making his first trip over to see Gait. The two had kept in touch after their Iceland trip, and when Gait said she was heading home on a Friday after a trip to Oregon, Boughen decided to hop on the boat too.
After that visit, they both travelled back and forth nearly every weekend for almost two years before Boughen decided to become a full-time Islander. In November 2018, the two made a new home together in Langford.
Boughen wanted the proposal to be a surprise, so he didn’t tell any of his friends or family. But, he did ask B.C. Ferries for some help.
He went to the company’s office ahead of time to ask if someone could take a photo when he got down on one knee. He planned to ask Gait on a ferry deck, but the company decided to make the experience special, and allowed the couple onto the vessel’s bridge in Active Pass.
Boughen told Gait he had won a tour of the bridge as a prize.
B.C. Ferries brought the couple onto the bridge, where Boughen got to honk the ship’s horn — a highlight for him. They met the captain and crew, who offered to take photos. That’s when Boughen pulled out the ring and dropped a knee.
And Gait was surprised — so surprised, she forgot to give Boughen an answer until a crew member asked, “Is that a yes?”
Boughen and Gait are no longer separated by the Strait of Georgia, but their days of ferry rides aren’t over. They still make the trip to the mainland about once a month to visit Boughen’s family, but now they do it together, often on the same ferry where Boughen proposed.
“They told us it’s going to be in operation for another 30 plus years, so it can be kind of cool that every time we get on the boat, we’ll be able to remember that experience,” Boughen said.