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Humboldt Bay supplies a large portion of California's fish, and Eureka has a fishing fleet of about 200 boats. For an optimal view of the bay and surrounding waters, board skipper Leroy Zerlang's 1910 Madaket -- a state historic landmark and the oldest passenger-carrying vessel in continuous service in the United States -- for a 75-minute narrated Humboldt Bay Harbor Cruise. Tours depart from the foot of F Street in downtown Eureka Thursday through Saturday at 1, 2:30, and 4pm, and Sunday through Tuesday at 1 and 2:30pm. Tickets are $18 per person for adults, $16 for seniors, $10 for kids 5 to 12, and free for kids 4 and under. There's also a $10 cocktail cruise offered in the summer. Call tel. 707/445-1910 for a recorded departure schedule, or log on to www.humboldtbaymaritimemuseum.com.

For more water recreation, you can rent kayaks, canoes, and sailboats from Humboats Friday through Monday from 9am to 5pm on Dock A, Woodley Island Marina (tel. 707/443-5157; www.humboats.com). Tours and lessons are also available.

Humboldt County is suitable for biking because it's relatively uncongested. You can rent bikes from Pro Sport Center, 1600 Fifth St. (tel. 707/443-6328). Fishing, diving, biking, and hiking information are also available here.

Humboldt Bay, an important stopover point along the Pacific Flyway, is the winter home for thousands of migratory birds. South of town, the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, 1020 Ranch Rd., Loleta (tel. 707/733-5406), provides an opportunity to see many of the 200 or so species that live in the marshes and willow groves. The egret rookery on the bay, best viewed from Woodley Island Marina across the water, is spectacular. Peak viewing for most water birds and raptors is between September and March. The entrance is off U.S. 101 north at the Hookton Road exit. Cross the overpass and turn right onto Ranch Road.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.