The Sea-gram 

January, 2012


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Queen Angel with coral

Queen Angel Swimming Through Coral, photo by Paul Mila, Cozumel Mexico ©


Paul & Mike, Antigua

Welcome to the January issue of Sea-gram, the monthly newsletter for ocean lovers, divers, and "deep-thinkers," from 
                                           Paul & Mike Holland (see story below)
In this issue's Story Behind The PhotoThe Tale Behind The Tail, read about our encounter with sleeping cave sharks in Antigua.
 If you have a good photo with an interesting story, or would like to share a good dive yarn, let me know at and I'll be happy to include your photo story in a future issue. 
 Our Conservation Corner topic this month concerns world famous diver Valerie Taylor's efforts to protect Australia's Coral Sea.

Joke of the Month Department:
Sent in by Sea-gram reader, John Christie.
 Ever wonder why sharks circle before attacking?

Mystery Solved! (Ed. Note: Perhaps a shade "tasteless," but funny.)

Two great white sharks spied survivors of a sunken ship.

"Follow me, son" the father shark said to the son shark, and they swam to the mass of people.

"First we swim around them a few times with just the tip of our fins showing." And they did.

"Well done, son! Now we swim around them a few times with all of our fins showing." And they did.

"Now we eat everybody." And they did.

When they were both gorged, the son asked, "Dad, why didn't we just eat them all at first? Why did we swim around and around them?"

His wise father replied, "Because they taste better if you scare the shit out of them first."


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I hope you enjoy Sea-gram !
 Paul J. Mila
 Story Behind The Photo(s) . . . 
       The Tale Behind The Tail
                        By Paul Mila, Carle Place, NY 
Dive buddies Marilyn and Michael Holland and I were on a site called Billy's Grotto, in Antigua.
We were about 60 feet deep, cruising along the top of a ridge. I noticed a shark tail protruding from under a ledge, so we swam down to take a peak.
Shark Tail
Nurse Shark Tail, Paul Mila photo, Antigua©
We stopped at the entrance to a shallow cave. I swam inside for a closer look (probably not a good idea). Several large nurse sharks were stacked on top of each other, apparently enjoying a mid-day snooze. I followed photography rule #1: get closer, and then even closer.
A school of tiny fish between the sharks and me (the white streaks in the photo) suddenly parted like a curtain. I took the shot, and then slowly backed out of the cave.
Sharks Inside Cave
Nurse Sharks Sleeping In Cave, Paul Mila, Antigua©
I regret not photographing the action that followed, but everything happened too fast. Just as Marilyn, Michael, and I ascended above the cave entrance, the sharks exploded from the cave as if shot from a cannon. Apparently, we had spooked them. Had we remained in front of the cave several seconds longer the sharks would have scattered us like bowling pins.
EQUIPMENT: SeaLIfe DC600 with strobe & wide angle lens.
 1. Photo rule #1: Get close, then even closer, because you are usually farther away then you think you are.
2. Top photo (the tail) was taken from at least 10 feet away. At that distance turn off strobe and use camera's automatic non-flash setting which lets in more ambient light and engages color correction software.
Conservation Corner . . .
        Protect The Coral Sea!
                            By Film legend Valerie Taylor
This month's conservation story concerns Valerie Taylor's efforts to protect Australia's Coral Sea.
 Valerie and her husband Ron Taylor are noted Australian conservationists, underwater photographers, shark and underwater experts.  
Valerie is a Woman Diver's Hall of Fame member, and diving legend; the accolades go on and on.
"The Coral Sea may be the world's last great tropical ocean ecosystem where a highly protected marine national park on a very large scale could be established and effectively managed. The government should seize the opportunity to protect the coral reefs and leave a legacy that Australians-and the world-can be proud of," said Imogen Zethoven of the Pew Environment Group.
To learn more about the Coral Sea, view Valerie's short video, brought to us by the PEW Environmental Group:

To Take Direct Action, Click On:
Your comments will be sent to Tony Burke, Australia's Minister of Environmental Affairs.
About is your home for exciting dive adventure novels, in both print and e-book formats, YouTube videos featuring ocean creatures, and more.
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Thanks for visiting; we'll see you next month!
Paul J. Mila 
 Paul in Cozumel
75 Titus Avenue
Carle Place, New York 11514


To forward Sea-gram to a friend, please click the "Forward email" link below.
In This Issue
The Story Behind The Photo: The Tale Behind The Tail
Conservation Corner: Save The Coral Sea
Featured Article in this month's Conservation 
Corner: Save The Coral Sea.

Read about world famous diver and photographer Valerie Taylor's efforts to protect Australia's Coral Sea.
The article includes a short video and submission links where you can send your thoughts & comments directly to Australian Minister of Environmental Affairs, Tony Burke.
Story lower-left column.


Quick Links
Updates & Miscellaneous Features

Beautiful Underwater Video in Fiji and Tonga
 Sea-gram reader Tony D'Alessandro found this short YouTube video of South Pacific sea life.
Take a break from your busy routine and treat yourself to 4 minutes of underwater beauty -- a perfect illustration of why we divers dive: 
Fiji & Tonga Sealife
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 Cruise Ship Rams 
 Endangered Fin Whale 
Whales are in danger from ship impacts around the world.
This video was taken as the Sapphire Princess cruise ship docked in Vancouver after colliding with a fin whale while cruising Alaska's Inside Passage:
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Whale War Heats Up
In The Southern Ocean!
The Sea Shepherd's 2012 anti-whaling campaign, Divine Wind, is underway in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
Click the link below to read about the latest action, including news of the activists boarding one a Japanese whaler.


Watch this 40-second video of the Sea Shepherds deploying a prop fouler in front of a moving whaler:

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1000-pound Sea Turtle Rescued From Butchers
Some stories have a happy ending, and this is one.
Sea-gram reader Angela Cancilla-Herschel sent us this dramatic turtle rescue story that happened recently in Grenada.



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Hybrid Sharks Found In Australia

Hybrid sharks have been found off Australia's east coast. Scientists theorize it could be a reaction to global warming, or a way for sharks to breed due to depletion caused by over-fishing:



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These Two Stories Highlight Why Sharks Are Endangered:
1. Fishermen Use Whale Sharks As "Bait" To Catch Tuna:
2. Rosie O'Donnell Thinks Killing Sharks Is Fun Sport:
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