Backcountry Medical Guides started in 2010 in the cabin of a 27 foot sailboat in Santa Cruz Harbor. For a little boat, Breezy sure did make big dreams come true. During 2011 and 2012, founder John Taussig was inspired by Breezy's extraordinary toughness (for a little swing keel fiberglass production boat), sold his car and used Breezy to commute the 40 miles to work across Monterey Bay.
That's when things got, well, odd. To the confusion and disbelief of his coworkers and clients, BMG made the trek time after time. When asked about this labor of love:
"Sailing was the easy part", John recalls, "Biking the equipment from the harbor was a different story. Often I would have manikins, computers, projectors, books all strapped to my bike with a huge backpack on of first aid kits and supplies . Despite looking like a total hillbilly, it was probably one of the best times of my life."
Innovative teaching styles, enthusiast instructors, exemplary venues, and true dedication contributed to BMG's initial growth. In 2013, BMG was simultaneously awarded as a Monterey Bay Green business, and incorporated as a California state non profit.
As course numbers grew, BMG's roster of talented healthcare providers and supporters grew. Doc Mike Wallice and Sister Kate Taussig started BMG's Belize programs and to the BMG Resource Center. Mike also started the BMG Medical Advisory Board, a group of physicians to oversee the BMG curriculum and policies. By the end of 2013, BMG saw numerous services expand, multiple locations added, and hundreds of students certified and credentialed.
When asked what is next for BMG, founder John Taussig describes the foreseeable future:
"We're buying a new sailboat in Breezy's honor, but one big enough for our office, marine programs, and charters. More venues- talks of BC and a round of courses at a Liberian surf retreat. Mostly though, we're going to continue doing what we've been doing the whole time- teaching for the students, and their experience, out of love and gratitude for what we do."
Update August 2014: The new boat arrived after an exciting sail from Seattle to Santa Cruz full of heavy wind, whales, and long nights. She looks about as comfortable as can be in Santa Cruz.