The waters of Howe Sound and the ferry across it are not only a physical barrier, but also a psychological one. Of course, many people say this about islands. With Bowen, and the commuter culture - which starts with high school - there is on island, and off island mindsets. The gearing up and gearing down happens every day.
You leave your home, make your way to the ferry to go to work or school. You step out the door, you watch the sun rise over the mountains crossing the Causeway. You are still on island. You make it to the ferry, wait with the "usual suspects" (those commuters on the same schedule as you), take your assigned seat with your regulars. The conversation shifts towards the morning radio tidbits, the wider news of the day. You are leaving the island, your home life, behind. On the commute, you become immersed in city and work.
You look at your watch, gather your things, and calculate which combination of trains, planes, and automobiles will get you on "the next ferry". The gathering of things may include a few files or artifacts that you need to bring home, but you are mentally as well as physically packing them away. Your thoughts turn towards this "next ferry", and you think about the weather, and what's for dinner. Arriving at the ferry terminal, you mentally pack work and stress away. Whatever happens, you will be on the next ferry. Crossing the water, you are facing home. Are you being picked up? Are you looking for a ride? Are you walking home in the dark and rain? There is a warm home at the end of the journey, time for a few last chats about politics, or development, or whether it's time to plant a few radishes.
I left a comment on a new online forum for Bowen Island, being setup and run by many people I respect, including the newly-moved-to-Bowen Dave Pollard.
I guess I didn't really answer the part of what do I appreciate about Bowen, rather a feeling I have about it. I appreciate that it is "home", and it is a home I can go to.