Retracing Tracks 2019: La Paz to Mazatlán

December 29, 2018 – January 17, 2019

As per usual, the new year found us running from the unrelenting, chilly northers that descend upon Baja from the four corners region of the U.S. in the winter time, and crossing the Sea to the mainland. But first, we landed in La Paz in late-December after a fabulous trip home and spent just a few days there so we could enjoy the company of Marga and Greg on S/V Dogfish and Bret and Marne on Liahona. And of course, there was ice cream at La Fuente, the best ice cream in Mexico. After sitting out a little norther in Bahía Falsa, we struck out across the Sea to Maz.

One of the goals in Mazatlán was to get hauled out and do some serious work on da boat. Unfortunately, we didn’t plan accordingly and were unable to get the boat out of the water due to limited space in the yard, but we were able to have Rafa, the Yanmar mechanic, give our engines the once over. Free Luff is nearly 17 years old now and spent the first 5 years of her life in charter in the Caribbean, so it was high time we had a full evaluation done by a certified mechanic. The news wasn’t good, but it wasn’t the end of the world either. We’ll have to re-power sooner than later, but until then, we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing. Additionally – because, as you know, it’s always something – we need the bottom painted, need to replace our rudder bearings, and we need some fiberglass work done. We’re not complaining, just stating for the record that boats need maintenance – what?! But, alas, all this must wait until we return to Mazatlán in the spring.

This time in Mazatlán, we had the joyful pleasure of hanging out with Tom and Helen on Catatude. We first met these two on a West Coast Multihulls catamaran rally to Ensenada some years ago, not knowing that, at the time, we were in the same marina in San Diego and they owned a home up the hill in beautiful Point Loma. We’ve crossed paths with them many times over the past few years, but never really took the opportunity to pal around with them. We’re sure glad we did this time because they’re fun! Helen and I got in the habit of taking nice long walks in the mornings to help rehab her hip and chat; we enjoyed many-a-meal together, most notably at Casita Maria to relive a pork chop experience with Thad, Kristin, and Ryan from a couple of years ago (see video); we took in a baseball game at the new stadium for the local team, Los Venados, who were in the playoffs; we hiked up El Faro to take in the 360-degree views of the city; and we enjoyed drinks at a roof-top bar and a stroll around old town. Oh, and of course, there was ice cream. So much fun with a couple of wonderful people.

And once again, as usual, it was time to git along, and we were off to Barra de Navidad, with a few stops along the way…But before we go on, we must reiterate that despite having made a few laps around Mexico from the Baja Peninsula to the mainland and back and forth again, we are still in love with Mexico, but more than anything, we’re more in love with many of our fellow cruisers. None of these places would have half the allure they have if the people we’ve met along the way weren’t in the same places as us at any given moment. We are so, so lucky to be doing what we’re doing and coming across so many like-minded, lovely human beings.


  1. Steve Ellsworth

    luv the view from the Freeman. Hate the rickety elevator.

    1. Jody Fraser

      Yes, quite spectacular! We took the stairs to avoid the rickety elevator! Hope you guys are doing well!

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