Shoal Bay was once the main town in this area and was called Thurlow. Cordero Channel runs between Stuart Island and the mouth of Loughborough Inlet. Shoal Bay is situated about half way along on East Thurlow Island. When you travel north on this back road of a channel everything on your right is mainland. There is one set of tidal rapids at the north end called Greene Point, that need to be timed, but this route is usually a lot calmer than Johnstone Strait. Shoal Bay was the result of gold mining and was a main stop for the coastal freighters that serviced the coast 100 years ago. It is coming back to life as Shoal Bay Docks. Check out the music fest and other pages on this site.
I fished commercially in this area in the early 80s. Back then there was a big old hotel with a pub that lured many a mariner into this protected bay. In the fall the dock would fill up every evening with trollers heading home after a season fishing. The present owner took over in about 2000. Soon after they got their belongings stowed in their new home, it burned down. They have been rebuilding ever since. I didn’t stop in last year and am looking forward to seeing how they are doing. We will be up in the area in mid May and could be available to take a group to visit this historical site. Anyone interested in doing an overnight trip to Shoal Bay from Browns Bay should e-mail me.
In behind the flats of Shoal Bay is a myriad of relics that echo the industrial past of this community. There iswas an old corduroy road heading into the bush that was probably remnants of the logging heyday. If you scour the rock faces of the mountains, you may see the entrances to the gold mines in behind the settlement. There is way too much history to cover in this blog, but I hope it piques your interest.