December 21, 2006
Alter Kayakers make waves in Newport Bay
(Page 2 - Previous Page)Next year, the Alter Kayakers will be rafting Oregon's treacherous Rogue River. They'll leave the wives behind in Ashland to attend the city's Shakespeare Festival.
"We love this group," said Bobbie Beard, wife of Ephie Beard. "While they're kayaking, we go to a spa."
Despite their raucous attitude, the group's environmental record is squeaky clean. No Alter Kayaker participates in a sport that consumes fossil fuel.
When they traveled from their Orange County homes to Langer's Deli in downtown Los Angeles, they took the train from Fullerton and the Red Line from Union Station. Their delight in the joys of nature is palpable.
When he's out in Newport Bay, Weinstein said, he's at one with the egrets, the blue herons and, on a truly lucky day, the porpoises. Sackler likes to drift off from the pack and head to Back Bay with the ospreys.
The Alter Kayakers even have a live-and-let-live motto when it comes to sea lions, the great nemesis of most kayakers. In the farther reaches of Newport Bay, six or seven chunky sea lions have been known to conspire to turn over a flimsy one-man kayak.
The Alter Kayakers just say no.
"We don't allow them to turn over our kayaks," Weinstein said. "They're not members of our club."
Sackler tried to drive the sea lions away by singing to them. That failed. Then he proposed luring them out to sea with gefilte fish.
"But the Harbor Patrol told us that the sea lions were endangered, and feeding them was prohibited," he said.
So the Alter Kayakers made the sea lions their official club mascots, trying to win them over with love. As the members see it, that's the Jewish way.
Next project for the Alter Kayakers: A calendar. Each man will be assigned a month, and December will feature a group picture.
"If we can raise money for charity, why not? We could be pinup boys in every Jewish old-age home across the country," Sackler said.
And what will they wear?
"Only shirts," Sackler said. "We'd cover up the rest with our paddles."
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