Anglers, divers, and pleasure boaters will find the area around Coupeville an ideal place to get their craft out into Puget Sound. There are two boat ramps at Fort Casey State Park and a boat launch, small marina and fuel dock at the Coupeville Wharf along Penn Cove.
Rent sea kayaks and inflatable boats (summers only) from Whidbey Water Works (360/678-9301, www.visitwhidbey.com/recreation/Whidbey-Water-Works.html), located at the Captain Whidbey Inn. Kayak rentals may also be available at the wharf in downtown Coupeville.
Just offshore from Fort Casey State Park is the Keystone Jetty underwater park, a marine reserve that gives divers the opportunity to explore a forest of kelp and come face to face with lingcod, crab, and sculpin, among other critters. The park is particularly popular for its abundant population of waving plumose anemones.
The closest place for scuba divers to get air fills, rent equipment, and schedule chartered dives is in Oak Harbor, at Whidbey Island Dive Center (1020 N.E. 7th Ave., #1, 360/675-1112, www.whidbeydive.com, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Tues., 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Wed–Sat., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sun.).
One of the major draws within Fort Ebey State Park is Lake Pondilla. Formed by a glacial sinkhole, this is a delight for bass fishermen and swimmers. Follow the signs from the north parking lot at the park for a two-block hike to the lake.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition