The Sea-gram

   For ocean lovers, divers,

            and "deep-thinkers."


August, 2012



MilaBooks Logo
Great Barracuda, Cozumel    

           Great Barracuda; Paul Mila photo, French Reef, Cozumel Mexico



Welcome to the August "Anniversary Issue" of Sea-gram, the monthly newsletter from


Jeff Rein & Paul, Cozumel
Jeff Rein & Paul, Diving Cozumel














This marks three years of Sea-gram, the 37th consecutive issue since August 2009.
Break out the birthday candles!
This month we'll take a look at Great Barracudas in Cozumel, where they are plentiful, and, like the "big-boy" in the above cover photo, very impressive. 
Ask most people to name a toothy sea-going predator, and chances are they'll answer "shark."
As actor Murray Hamilton, the mayor of Amity in JAWS, explains to police chief Brody, Roy Scheider, "You yell 'barracuda' and everybody says, 'Huh? What?' You yell 'shark,' we've got a panic on our hands on the 4th of July."
Sharks may get all the publicity, but in November 2010, our dive group had our own high octane panic attack, courtesy of some hungry barracudas.
Check out the action in this video:
Barracuda Feeding Frenzy
Barracuda Feeding Frenzy
National Geographic will show an edited, i.e., shortened, version of this incident on their Dangerous Encounters series on the Nat Geo Wild Channel, on Wednesday September 5th at 8pm Eastern Time.
Look for it!
This month's Story Behind The Photo section, Death On The Reef, features the full story of our barracuda encounter and dive buddy Jeff Rein's video, which includes the sound of a diver screaming during the incident. 

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 story in a future issue. 
Our Conservation Corner topic this month concerns a proposed wind turbine project for Cozumel's wild, pristine, eastern shore.
If you know someone who would enjoy reading Sea-gram, please forward a copy to your buddy, using the link at the end of the newsletter. 
To view past Sea-grams click our ARCHIVE link below:

I hope you enjoy Sea-gram !
 Paul J. Mila

 Story Behind The Photo . . . 
             Death On The Reef
                         By Paul Mila, Carle Place, NY
I was diving in Cozumel with buddy Jeff Rein, and divers Dick & Sylvia Stuart, Alan & Kathy Constant, and Gary Wanamaker. Our dive operator Alison (wearing the yellow & orange beanie in the video) was leading us along a reef called Cedral Pass.
We noticed a commotion among some inhabitants near a coral head, so Jeff and I finned closer and checked out the action. We put our SeaLife cameras into video mode, as we watched Queen Triggers and Mutton Snappers  tearing a Yellow-tail Snapper to shreds. We thought the fish was dead until it sprang to life trying to evade its attackers.
Suddenly the attacking fish scattered because they saw what we did not: silver torpedoes racing in from the deep blue.
Check out the wild action in Jeff's video, as a barracuda seizes its victim inches below my black and yellow fins, and one diver begins screaming through her regulator:  
Barracuda Attack



Paul: SeaLife 1000 camera, using a wide-angle lens and strobe for stills, ambient light for video. 

Jeff: Sea-Life 1200 camera, twin strobes for stills, ambient light for video. 

Conservation Corner . . .

        Wind Turbine Reprieve?

I recently found out that a proposed wind farm project in Cozumel was approved and then supposedly canceled. 

The project's goal is to use wind-generated power to generate electricity for sale and transmission back to the mainland.

The goal of using wind-generated power is admirable. The problem with this project is that it makes no sense to put it on Cozumel Island. 

 The scope involves building 115 wind tower/turbines along the island's east coast, from the southern tip near Punta Sur to the northern tip, at Punta Molas.

Each tower will be 250-300 feet tall with a 30 foot deep by 15 foot diameter foundation. These foundations are one of the biggest worries for ecologists, because they could severely disrupt and contaminate the water table.


Many of the 115 turbines will be constructed in areas currently protected because they are wetlands used by countless species of birds and animals, including sea turtles. There are also cenotes (natural wells), and unexplored Mayan Ruins.

These ecosystems will suffer due to the installation of infrastructure roads and towers, and the erosion they cause.

The AMERICAN company "MEXICO POWER GROUP" proposing the project estimates 15,000 acres of virgin land will be destroyed.


Furthermore, islanders fear that widespread forest fires could result if a turbine explodes during the dry season.


For anyone thinking it makes sense to place wind turbines in an area prone to strong hurricanes, watch a similar turbine's catastrophic failure during high winds: 

Wind Turbine Wreck & Explosion
Wind Turbine Wreck & Explosion


 What Can We Do?

First of all, sign the petition below. It will go to the president of Mexico. Every signature helps.

 View/Sign Petition


Second: Keep informed, in case the project is revived.

Someone in the US has started a Facebook page to help spread the word. You can "friend" them and share pics or stories or just keep up with the latest info on the subject.

The name of the page is COZUMEL WIND.


About is your home for exciting dive adventure novels (in both e-format and print format), YouTube videos featuring ocean creatures, and more.
MilaBooks Logo
Click on the reading dolphin and swim
 into our website


Thanks for visiting, and 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: Death On The Reef; A Wild Barracuda Encounter
Conservation Corner: Cozumel Wind Turbine Reprieve? Project On Hold, For Now
 Featured Article in Conservation Corner:
Proposed Cozumel Wind Turbines Threaten Environment; Project Put On Hold . . . For Now!
Details, lower left column.
Quick Links
Updates & Miscellaneous Features



Depth Magazine

 Coming Soon!


I recently learned that a new free online dive magazine, containing   stunning underwater photos and interesting articles, is coming in November.

Click the link below to view and learn more about Depth, and if you like what you see, register for Depth Magazine:

Depth Magazine



* * * * * * * * *

Bonnie Cardone

Branches Out

 Women Divers Hall of Fame member Bonnie Cardone, also an avid underwater photographer and non-fiction author (Fireside Diver and Shipwrecks of Southern California), is giving fiction writing a shot. Bonnie has penned three stories featuring a female scuba diving 


We're not sure about the publication details for the three titles: The Bride Wore Black, Death Dives the Bahamas and Death Dives the Caribbean, but check out Bonnie's website and learn more about her books and her interesting exploits:



 * * * * * * * * *


Great Diving!

Over the summer I visited Roatan for the first time. I spent my underwater time diving with Trevor Brown's Ocean Connections, a five star Padi operation located in Roatan's West End.

If you're headed in that direction, check out their website below and contact them:

Ocean Connections


* * * * * * * * *

Mike's Blog


Underwater photographer & blogger Mike Boyd sent in this great photo story about his spotted moray encounter in Bonaire.

Check out his photo blog:

Tale of a Happy Eel



  * * * * * * * * *
Save Our Sharks  
Now that Discovery Channel's Shark Week is finally over, visit the PEW Environmental Trust website and learn what's being done worldwide to save sharks:
* * * * * * * *
North Atlantic Humpbacks Face Serious Challenges


Sea-gram reader Seth Baer sent us this New York Times environmental story about the dangers our local humpbacks face close to shore:

Far from Safe



Antarctic Humpbacks

Confound Scientists


Interesting story about humpback whales lingering longer in their winter feeding grounds.

Scientists not sure what to make of their behavior:

Humpbacks Down Under


* * * * * * * * *


Wild & Wacky



Alligators Take It On the Chin -- From Mugsy,

The Fearsome Feline! 

 Leave it to Sea-gram fan Martha Weisberg to come up with another unusual story.
Watch this scrappy cat slap Louisiana 'gators around:
* * * * * * * * * 
Sea-gram reader Cathy Johnson sent us this great video, of the ocean many have never seen:


 * * * * * * * * *


Sea Shepherd Update

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Organization has several new initiatives underway.

To check out their latest activities, visit their website:


* * * * * * * * *

Want to visit Cozumel?
Here are some interesting rental options: 
A fun dive site, where you can rent my beach front condo at the Residencias Reef, view great dive photos, and more!


Even Better Than Renting:


If you want to explore purchasing your own "Slice of Paradise," contact these Cozumel professionals for more information:


Jaime Ramirez, at the Residencias Reef:


Nancy Edwards,
    at Cozumel Living:


* * * * * * * * *
For the best in scuba diving, including basic & advanced lessons, continuing education, equipment sales & repair, world-wide dive adventures, and more, visit Scuba Network of Long Island, located on Old Country Road in Carle Place.
More information on their website:
* * * * * * * * *
Available Link! Post a link to your web site here!
E-mail for details.
Join Our Mailing List
If a friend forwarded Sea-gram to you and you'd like to receive future issues, let us know. Click the JOIN link above, or e-mail me at