The Sea-gram

   For ocean lovers, divers,

            and "deep-thinkers."


February, 2013



MilaBooks Logo
Cozumel Hawksbill by H. Flora        

          Cozumel Hawkbill Cruising a Coral Garden, Harry Flora photo, Cozumel Mexico

Welcome to February's Sea-gram, the monthly newsletter from
It's been a cold, snowy winter up here in Long Island NY, but I'm all packed and heading for Cozumel in a few days.
If anyone will be visiting Cozumel on March 7th join me at La Cocay restaurant, where owner Kathy is hosting a book signing for my latest Cozumel adventure thriller, Near Miss .
Paul in the snow
Paul, waiting for the Cozumel express
 This month's headline photo, a Cozumel hawksbill cruising a coral garden, was submitted by diver Harry Flora.
In Harry's words:
 "I was diving Palancar Caves around 60ft and the visibility was 100ft or better. I was using a SeaLife DC1400 Duo Pro with the camera set to auto in the dive mode and the configuration set to external flash and video light. I had the white balance set to blue water 25ft or deeper (8-17 meters), the video light set to full power and the flash on auto.
This was my first time using this set up and was experimenting with the video light. I have to admit there was some luck involved with this shot! I was in the right place at the right time."
Large sea turtle encounters are frequently enjoyed by Cozumel divers. In this short YouTube clip a huge hawksbill cruised past us, almost bumping into dive buddy Joe Troiano.  
Hawksbill flyby
Hawksbill Flyby


This month's Story Behind the Photo, Aquatic Symbiosis, is a good example of the behavior divers frequently observe: sea critters hanging out together for mutual benefit. In this case, turtles munching on tasty sponges while angel fish scoop up the crumbs.


Divers see many other examples of this behavior too.

This short YouTube video shows a bar jack shadowing a southern stingray, hoping for some leftover morsels of the crustaceans the stingray is hunting in the sand. 

Stingray and Bar jack hunt together
Stingray and Bar jack hunting together


 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. 
This month's Conservation Corner, Great Barrier Reef in Trouble highlights the 50% decline in coral of Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
 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 
             Aquatic Symbiosis
                            by Paul Mila, Carle Place, NY
Turtle & angel fish forage
Hawksbill turtle & Gray angel lunching together

 Diving Paso De Cedral, a flat shallow reef featuring numerous sponges, I spotted a cluster of angel fish circling just ahead. I've learned that when you see a bunch of angel fish in one spot a turtle will usually be in the middle of the pack, munching on a sponge.


As the turtle rips the sponge apart pieces fly away, providing an easy meal for angel fish. In the short video clip below, gray, French, and colorful queen angels snap up the crumbs while the turtle does most of the work. 

Hawksbill turtle & angel fish foraging 1
Hawksbill turtle & angel fish foraging

Equipment: SeaLife 1000 camera with wide-angle lens and digital strobe for still photo; ambient light for video.

Conservation Corner . . .

Great Barrier Reef in Trouble



This NBC News story about Australia's Great Barrier Reef estimates the coral decline at 50% since 1985, with two-thirds of that decline occurring since 1998.


The reasons are complex and inter-related. One example: Crown of Thorns Starfish accounts for much the decline. But the explosion of the deadly starfish population is largely man-made.


Read on: 

Decline of the Great Barrier Reef


 * * * * * * * * *

About is your home for exciting dive adventure novels (in both e-format and print format), YouTube videos featuring ocean creatures, and more.
Near Miss, my new Caribbean thriller, is now available from Barnes &Noble, both Nook e-book and print version.
Also availabe from, Amazon,  Scuba Network in Carle Place and Book Revue in Huntington.
Diver Wire posted this news story about 
Near Miss:

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
Featured Creature: Seahorses of Cozumel
Conservation Corner: S.O.S. Save Our Sharks
Featured Article in Conservation Corner:
Great Barrier Reef in Trouble!
    Story, lower left column.
Quick Links
Updates &
Miscellaneous Features


Wild and Whacky


Marlin 1; Fishermen 0

Sea-gram fan Martha Weisberg sent us this interesting story about a hooked marlin, who wasn't about to go without a fight: 

Hooked Marlin Sinks Boat


Humpback Brush-off


Sea-gram reader Paul Stessel sent in this video story about Hawaiian tourists who got closer to humpback whales than they ever thought they would: 

Humpbacks Visit Tourist Boat


* * * * * * * * *


Alison's Story

Many Sea-gram readers dive with Alison Dennis, Cozumel-based owner/operator of Scuba with Alison. The online news service Diver Wire recently ran a featured article about Alison. For those curious about Alison, and how I came to know her, here is the story:

Alison's Story


  * * * * * * * * *

 Eagle Ray Alley


Divers Dan Hartman, David Robertson, and Fulvio Cuccurullo were diving in Cozumel recently.

Dan took this amazing photo:



 * * * * * * * *

Layle Stanton,
Real Life Inspiration Behind Near Miss Adventure Novel Begins New Venture

Diver Layle Stanton, who provided the inspiration for the main character in Near Miss, has opened an art gallery in Roatan, Honduras, called LALA, for Latin American Lifestyle and Art.
Click on LALA below to find out about Layle's exciting new venture:
* * * * * * * * *  

 Shark Lecture

at American Museum of Natural History

 For you shark lovers out there, consider attending this fascinating lecture on March 12th:

Shark Lecture


      * * * * * * * * *

Sea-gram reader Petya Mattys, writing from Poland, sent in this interesting story, confirming that dolphins can recognize and call their friends and family members by name:
Petya also sent us this story, about a
sperm whale pod adopting a dolphin
* * * * * * * * *
  A Better Wine Cellar?
Sea-gram fan Lorraine White, owner of Magnifico Manuscripts editing services
sent in this article about storing wine in the sea:
 * * * * * * * * *
Sea Shepherd Update
It's that time of year again, when the Sea Shepherds are facing off with  Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.


 For the latest news on their 9th anti-whaling campaign, and efforts by whaling nations to extradite founder Paul Watson, click below:  

  Help Sea Shepherd


* * * * * * * *


   Want to visit Cozumel?


For beachfront living:

  A fun dive site, where you can rent my beach front condo at the Residencias Reef, view great dive photos, and more!


    Want to Buy in Cozumel?


Contact Nancy Edwards, at:


Jaime Ramirez at Residencias Reef

* * * * * * * * *




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!
 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