How to wrestle an alligator in one easy lesson…

Yes friends I have finally done it! An opportunity arose to wrestle an alligator and I had to volunteer. When dealing with these dangerous reptiles one must be prepared and grab the psychological advantage from the very start. If you will remember, I told you that I had eaten gator cakes for dinner last night. So when I first encountered the alligators I told them that I had just eaten one of their relatives and broke their will to fight.

We took the trolley to the world famous Alligator Farm where they have a marvelous facility to display and interact with the gators and crocs. There was just too much to adequately share it all but here are some pictures of our experience.

Pictures in order:

1. Toucan- these guys are gorgeous and curious.

2. Albino alligator- few survive in nature because they have no camoflage and are easily spotted and eaten while young. Here they breed them.

3. Common American alligator- there are over 700 here.

4. Feeding Old Hunter- all the gators here have names and the are trained to react to their name with food.

5. Giant tortoise.

6. MAXIMO- a giant South American crocodile that is a major attraction. A TV news crew was filming him today.

7. Zip line obstacle course- you can pay to zip through the park over the exhibits.

8. Roseate spoonbills- a rare pair building a nest and fighting over where a stick should be placed. James Audubon used one as the subject of his first major painting.

9. Storks courting.

10. Snowy egret displaying for his mate.

11. Tortoises love getting their neck scratched.

After the Alligator Farm we crossed the highway and visited the St. Augustine Lighthouse on Anastasia Island. I climbed all the way to the top. 219 steps and the wind on top was howling. Here are pictures. Some were taken from the top and the one looking down should reveal who would not join me in the climb.

On the way back to the boat we stopped at a used marine supply house. Naturally they had everything except what we needed. It was interesting to stroll through. Apparently they strip equipment off of hurricane damaged boats and sell it by the piece. It would take days to look through it all and even then you might miss just what you wanted. Someone trying to rehab an older boat would love it.

Tomorrow we have one more day of touring and will still have only covered a small portion of this interesting city.

Correction: yesterday I misspelled coquina which is the coral rock they used for building so much of this city. I called it cocina which may be Spanish for kitchen or something.

Footnote: This Catholic Church has a field of 4000 white crosses representing the number of babies aborted everyday in this country. Whatever your views this took a lot of work and makes a pretty powerful statement.