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Originally published Thursday, March 13, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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A friendly face in Port Ludlow's marina

Kori Ward's job is to keep the boaters happy. She does that, in part, with poetry. Port Ludlow's marina manager, Ward, 34, has worked at...

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Kori Ward's job is to keep the boaters happy. She does that, in part, with poetry.

Port Ludlow's marina manager, Ward, 34, has worked at the marina since she was 18 — the only place she's ever worked. From your balcony at the inn, you might see the Quilcene native and her grinning, tongue-lolling corgi, Ludlow, trotting the docks together.

"I've tried to make this more of a destination, not just a place for people to park their boat," said Ward. That means she has dock hands to run and help you tie up on a busy day, or deliver ice when the beer is getting warm. And she's proud of her facility's EnviroStar designation as a "Clean Marina," meaning it follows and encourages eco-friendly practices.

In winter, it means she pens an annual Christmas poem, which she reads at the resort's "Holiday On the Docks" lighted boat celebration. The poems tend to follow a "Night Before Christmas" cadence. The 2006 entry had all the boats making Christmas wishes:

"I want new canvas

And some new lines.

I want an anchor, new paint; a new jib

would be fine.

New spotlights, new dinghies, fenders or rudders

All the boats wanted one thing or another."

Santa advised them to wish for fair winds and calm seas, and not be so greedy.

Anyway, Ward keeps things kind of fun.

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Oh, and kids, remember this: If you're visiting on a busy summer day, Ward and her crew like to give out free Popsicles to any kid wearing a life jacket while on the dock.

Now that's a cool marina.

— Brian J. Cantwell

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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