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Consider me a test subject in a very small clinical trial. The issue: high blood pressure. The hypotheses? That purchasing a sailboat, divesting oneself of almost all worldly possessions and then sailing to the Caribbean with a loving wife would help to lower the blood pressure, san drugs.

It was just under 2 years ago that I wrote how my Dr. felt that it would be irresponsible of him to prescribe medication for me to treat my (quite) high BP, given that we were planning such a radical change of lifestyle. Sometime later though, after heading south, I posted how I had my doubts about my BP lowering, given that we were still under a great deal of stress at times, albeit a different type of stress than we experienced in our land-based lives.

We did bring a nice blood pressure monitor with us on ZTC but truth be told, I have actually been a bit afraid to test myself. I do, however, know that it will be one of the things that will be checked when I get the medical done that I require for my commercial captain’s license. So, not wanting to have any surprises, I took the plunge and dug out the monitor yesterday. What did I find? My BP went down. A LOT! From readings that, according to the chart, were Moderate Stage 2, my BP is now in the normal range, although admittedly at the top of that spectrum. Pretty cool though, eh? I think that pretty much proves it… cruising is healthier for you than living on land. What more proof do you need?


  1. The world is, I don’t know, 7/8ths water? I think we were meant to live on the water. Way, way too many people on the little land we have – too crowded, too much competition. Leads to high blood pressure, for sure. And evil germs, hacking and sneezing between all of them.

    And if you’ve lived on a boat and cruised long enough, I think it’s called “Rum Pressure” after all that icky, scabby red stuff has been completely replaced with “feel good juice.” (Metaphorically speaking, of course.)

    Living on Island Time, with very few people = a recipe for health!

    Good on ya!

  2. Thats great that your blood pressure came down…I hear of many cruiser’s that shed all their medications after being “out there”………I wonder if OBAMA CARE will pay for me to cruise!!!

  3. Congrats on the lower blood pressure! Good one John … let me know if I can get paid to cruise too! =)

  4. Sleep was always a big factor for me, and I’m betting you arn’t setting an alarm!

    Even when I was bike racing competatively in college, I was high normal, where you are. It went higher when I gained some wieght (just after getting married–my wife was too good a baker) or stayed up to late (also with the wife). My resting pulse was never very low, never below 50.

    Stress while sailing, yes, but of a much different sort. Not cronic. Just momentary bouts of raw terror. I know a climber who would get quite stressed running his climbing gear company. He would go ice climbing to relax. Yes, it was stressful , but when he was done, all the minor promlems in life were sweated out, leaving, as he put it, “a good clean human.”

  5. I’ve found the same to be true of swimming. I’ve los weight and lowered my blood pressure! At almost 70 years of age, that’s not too bad! Maybe, when I get out there where you are, I can get rid of the rest of the pills! Well done, Mike. With help from Rebecca, of course! Keep up the good work!

    • Swimming is awesome but it’s certainly not activity/exercise that lowered my BP. I had plenty of that back on land when we owned our gym.

  6. This is what it is all really about. Beats drugs any day.

  7. Hi Mike, been following the blog for awhile, just decided about 3 weeks ago to go thru from the beginning, thus the lateness of my reply. I had a 22ft sailboat for the last 2 years out on Vancouver Isl, plan was to buy the cruising boat this summer but things happened for a reason and we just completed a move back to Ontario (change cruising plans to start from here now), that boat probably wont happen until next summer now, and who knows how long after that, that the cruising will begin, likely following a route similar to yours BUT I have been on meds for BP for awhile and have always thought that cruising just might either be able to eliminate meds or at least cut them in half, good to hear its workin for you and thanks for the extra bit of ammo.

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