May, 2013
For ocean lovers, divers, and "deep-thinkers."

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 Baby Humpback zoomed photo   
"In the Gaze of a Whale"
Humpback Whale & Diver, Silver Bank, Dominican Republic; Paul Mila photo©
Welcome to the May Sea-gram,
      the monthly newsletter from
This month's Sea-gram is a bit late due to the arrival of my grandson, future diver Maxwell Baer.
Maxwell future diver
Paul, Baby Maxwell, and Max's new undersea friend 
Tommy Turtle
This month, whales are on the agenda. 
I shot the headline photo above several years ago in the Dominican Republic, when a baby humpback passed between me and another diver.  When you find yourself in the gaze of a whale it is truly a humbling moment that you never forget.
Despite political pressure to end whaling, several nations persist in hunting whales. New threats are arising, which we'll discuss below, in this month's
Conservation Corner.
For a high octane encounter with killer whales,  click the photo below and read Rich & Laura Howard's story.
Actually, Orcas are the largest member of the dolphin family, but if they want to be called whales I'm not going to argue with them.  
This month's Story Behind The Photo section features a photo by my friend, Cayman Island dive buddy Frank Kaufman, who shot a photo of a snapper eating a lionfish.
If you have a 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. 
 If you know someone who would enjoy reading Sea-gram, perhaps a friend in need of an overdue "dive fix", please forward Sea-gram to your buddy, using the link at the end of the newsletter. 
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I hope you enjoy Sea-gram !
 Paul J. Mila

The Story Behind The Photo . . . 
     Eating  a Lion!      
                        By Frank Kaufman
Frank was diving in the Caymans when he happened across this scene.
  Cayman Island Lionfish 
In Frank's words:
"Last February I was diving in Grand Cayman at a dive site called Ned's Tunnel, located on the south side. It was the second dive of the morning, a cloudy day, the water visibility was very good and there was no noticeable current.
The dive master had just speared a lion fish at a depth of about 50 feet. We were about to move on when I spotted a mutton snapper which seemed very curious about the  lion fish that had just been speared.
The other divers moved on, but I stayed a little longer watching the mutton snapper make smaller, then bolder advances towards the lion fish.
I kept my camera ready and focused on both the lion fish that was steadily sinking toward the bottom and the inquisitive lion fish. I took pictures one after another, and was able to capture the action of this mutton snapper opening its mouth to eat the lion fish."
"I was using a sealife 800 camera with an underwater strobe. I had it set at 1600 and set the distance focus so I could capture motion without getting a blurred picture. It worked really well and I was able to capture this great shot as well as some approaching shots of the mutton snapper inspecting the recently killed lion fish before making the advance to eat it.
The lesson here is that patience pays off when trying to get unique underwater shots of wildlife. My experience, (750 dives), has shown that the best shots are usually captured when you show patience and just wait and observe the fish. You should also always have your camera set at the right settings with the strobe on, and be ready for anything. You also need a little bit of luck."
Thanks for sharing, Frank.
Paul's note: Mutton snappers have developed a taste for lionfish, but only if divers have made the kill for them.
Take a look at this snapper, waiting like a puppy for it's meal, prepared by instructor Alison Dennis in Cozumel:
Preparing Dinner For A Snapper
Preparing Dinner For A Snapper
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Conservation Corner . . .
             Whales Still At Risk!
By Paul Mila
Whale "Research," Japanese style:
Dead Whale Mother & Calf 
Mother and baby whales are hauled up the slipway of a Japanese whaling ship run by the Institute For Cetacean Research (ICR), the Japanese front organization which disguises illegal commercial whaling as "research."  
While some whale species are recovering, others, such as Fin, Blue, and Humpback remained threatened or are at risk of extinction.
While California Gray whale populations have rebounded, many whales are showing up in their breeding grounds undernourished due to threats to their food supply. The effect of global warming on whale food supplies, especially krill, is unknown, but reports indicate krill populations are declining.
Sea Shepherd is on guard fighting Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary. But in other parts of the world whales are still hunted by Korea, Norway and Iceland with no one to prevent the killing.
Click the link below for details about world-wide whaling, then click on each country's flag for details about that country's whaling activities:
Dr. Louise Leakey has joined Sea Shepherd's Board of Advisors. Watch her short video explaining the impact of human beings on Planet Earth.
Dr. Leakey's message: Governments are failing to protect wild life, so we need private organization like Sea Shepherd to be "Custodians For Nature."

Dr. Louise Leakey on Conservation
Dr. Louise Leakey on Conservation
About is your home for exciting dive adventure novels, YouTube videos about ocean creatures, and more.
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Click 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: ...Eating A Lion
Conservation Corner: Saving Leatherbacks

Conservation Corner

Featured Article:

Whales At Risk!


Story lower left column.


  Quick Links
Updates & Miscellaneous Features:



Diver Helps Dolphin


 Sea-gram readers Stephanie Asciolla and author/diver Mike Monahan sent in this dolphin story about a wounded dolphin asking a diver for help. Incredible video:

Dolphin Asks for Help

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Near Miss a sure hit
in North Carolina
The Greylyn Book Club in 
Weddington North Carolina selected my latest Caribbean adventure thriller,
Near Miss, for one of their reading and discussion sessions.
Occasionally, one of the members invites the club to her beach house in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.
The Beach House Babes sent in this photo, showing them avidly reading and enjoying
Near Miss.
Beach House Reading Club   
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  If You Like Sharks . . .
 Click this link and then scroll down  to view some of the most amazing Great White Shark photography you will ever see, by Sam Cahir:
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The Longest Day for
Baby Sea Turtles 
When sea turtles hatch they head for Mother Ocean . . . but they must run a fierce and deadly gauntlet:
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Sea-gram fan and free-lance editor Lorraine Fico-White of
sent in this story from the Ocean Conservancy, about the Atlantic & Caribbean lionfish situation.
Especially interesting is the interactive map, showing the year-by-year spread of the lionfish invasion:
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Saving Bonaire!
Sea-gram reader Tish Dace sent in this story about attempts to preserve Bonaire as one of the premier dive locations, and stop the decline of the reef system due to over-development.
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Whale News 


    Sea Shepherd

Campaign Update


 The Institute of Cetacean Research, the front organization for Japan's illegal whaling program, has released their kill report for 2012/2013.


 Here is the official scorecard from Sea Shepherd's recently concluded Operation Zero Tolerance:


Japan wanted 50 Humpbacks.
 They took none!


Japan wanted 50 Fin whales.


They took none!

Japan wanted 935 Minke whales.

They killed 103!

832 Minke whales saved!

50 Humpbacks and 50 Fins not slaughtered!
Sea Shepherd !



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