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Sail away with Kurt Peterson

Photo courtesy of Catboat Charters

Where the Vineyard had loomed for hours as a light blue silhouette rising from the sea, it would begin to take on shapes and colors as the Molly Rose drew closer. The prevailing southwest breeze would cause the big cat to heel over; the boys might alternate from sitting on the rail like grown-up crew members to daring each other to sit down on the tippy side, where the water rushed past, inches from their faces. Over the windward side of the boat, the houses of East Chop and Oak Bluffs would come into focus, then Edgartown Beach would unfold. Well off the port bow, the sands of Cape Pogue would arise, along with the lighthouse. To the boys, this would resemble Sampson’s Island, but on a scale so massive that it would appear like another country. And then eventually, their father Eric Peterson would tack Molly Rose and sail Kurt and his brothers past Edgartown Light and up the channel into an enchanted sailor’s kingdom. Sure, 6-year-old Kurt had seen other sailboats before, but now he sailed past schooners that dwarfed Molly Rose. Along the wharfs and on the hillsides, shops and the mansions of ship captains sang to him. Later in the day, Kurt would wander through the village, and his life would take on a new direction, a destiny. Edgartown had cast its spell. Decades later, Kurt Peterson would move here, and since 2015, he has made his living by sailing his own catboat around these waters with his company, Catboat Charters. “I specifically remember as a 6-year-old walking around Edgartown,” he says. “Ever since then, it’s been my dream to make this place my home.” 



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