May, 2014
For ocean lovers, divers, and 
 MilaBooks Logo

   Shark up Close
Welcome to the Bahamas!

Shark Feeding Dive, Nassau Bahamas, Paul Mila photo.©        

Welcome to the May issue of Sea-gram, from
In this issue we'll be discussing sharks & rays.
They're in the same family, classified as elasmobrancii, meaning their skeletons are cartilaginous, not bony, and their jaws are not attached to their skulls.
The best way for divers to see sharks up close & personal is to go on a shark feeding dive with an operation that knows how to do it safely, like Stuart Coves in Nassau, Bahamas. That's where I was diving when the Stuart Coves photographer snapped this photo, at a dive site appropriately named Shark Arena:

Paul Diving Shark Arena, Nassau, Bahamas,

Stuart Coves Photo©

To experience our shark feeding dive, click the link and view this short youtube video:  
Paul Mila, Bahamian Shark Feed
Paul Mila, Bahamian Shark Feed, © Video Courtesy Stuart Coves
In this issue' Story Behind The Photo, check out this father/son diving duo as they sit on the ocean bottom, surrounded by Caribbean Reef Sharks.
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.
This month's Featured Creature is a combo: the Southern Stingray and Bar Jack.
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.

To view past Sea-grams click our ARCHIVE link below:

I hope you enjoy Sea-gram !
Paul J. Mila
 The Story Behind The Photo(s) . . . 
             Shark Encounter  
                                         By Karl Kelso, Long Island, NY
Here is Karl's Story Behind the Photos©:

My son Ryan and I decided to dive with sharks at Stuart Coves Nassau, Bahamas. We had just settled ourselves on the bottom when the sharks came to play.


Ryan had a great time. Notice the look of pure joy on Ryan's face, and the look of sheer terror on mine.


 Did you ever wonder what it looks like when a shark eyes you, up close & personal?


It looks like this!


Thanks for sharing your experience, Karl.

Glad you and Ryan made it home intact.

 Featured Creature(s) . . .
     The Southern Stingray & Bar Jack
                                           By Paul Mila, Carle Place, NY
We're mentioning the Southern Stingray and Bar Jack as a pair because divers see them together so frequently throughout the Caribbean.
In the photo below, the Bar Jack, named for the distinctive dark blue bar running down its back, hovers over the stingray, while a mutton snapper lurks in the background.
Southern Stingray & bar Jack. Cozumel Mexico, Paul Mila photo©
Here's another example of the two together: 
Souther Stingray & Bar Jack, Cozumel Mexico, Paul Mila Photo©
The reason why these very different creatures hang out together is a form of symbiosis. But it is a symbiotic relationship called Commensalism.
Commensalism is defined as symbiosis in which one organism benefits and the other is not harmed or helped.  
What happens is that as the stingrays hunt, gliding along the bottom searching for crustaceans which make up their diet, the bar jacks have learned that there are scraps to be had.
So the stingrays help the jacks find free and easy meals.
The jacks benefit but rays do not benefit and are not harmed.
But as the video below shows, this ray does seem a bit annoyed with the persistent jack.
Southern Stingray
Hunting Stingray & Bar Jack, Cozumel Mexico, Paul Mila Video
It is interesting to notice that the stingray swims by rippling its fins, while its larger cousin, the spotted eagle ray swims by flapping its wing-like fins, similar to the way an eagle flys.
  See eagle ray video below: 
Eagle Ray Flyover
Eagle Ray Flyover, Cozumel Mexico, Paul Mila Video
SeaLife 1400 Camera, digital strobe (for still photos) & wide-angle lens.
is your home for exciting dive adventure novels,
and YouTube videos featuring ocean creatures.
MilaBooks Logo
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.

Featured Creature(s):

The Southern Stingray / Bar Jack Combo


Story lower left column.


 Quick Links
Updates & Miscellaneous Features
Sharks, Sharks, 
and More Sharks


Grandson Max the Shark, who appeared in last November's Sea-gram as a Great White, turned one-year old this week.
Happy Birthday from your fans, Max!
Evidently, Max still loves sharks.
This time, Max turned up as a Blue Shark 








Sharks must run in Max's family.
Grandpa plays with them too:
Shark passing
Who said, "Fins Up"?©
Let's hope that by the time Max is old enough to dive, sharks will still roam the oceans.  
The Real Deal!
Sea-gram fan Tom Helmke sent in this video story about a diver forced 
to fight off a Great White with his spear gun. You may have to endure a short commercial first, but the story is amazing:
British Virgin Islands (BVI) Establishes Permanent Shark Sanctuary   
Click on this link for the full story and informative video from the PEW Environmental Trust, about how sharks contribute to the diversity of sea life on coral reefs:

* * * * * * *

LALA Expands


 Next time your diving Roatan visit LALA, Layle Stanton's Latin American Lifestyle & Art gallery, which has now expanded and includes a cafe.


At LALA you can find unique original art from Central & Latin America.



* * * * * * * * *


Incredible Story!

Sea-gram reader Jeff Reed sent in this amazing story about a  woman who dives in a specially equipped wheelchair

Click for the story and video:

Deep Sea Diving In Wheelchair


* * * * * * * * *


 Sea Shepherd Update


Join Sea Shepherd for a whale watch off New Jersey.

Celebrate World Ocean Day and join Sea Shepherd June 8th for a whale & dolphin watch.

Click for details:

Sea Shepherd Whale Watch


Check out the latest news from the

Sea Shepherd Conservation Organization:

 Sea Shepherd News



  * * * * * * * *

 100 Year-old Orca?


We found this story in a ScubaDiveAsia discussion on LinkedIn.

Orcas living into their 80's, 90's and beyond have been identified. 

So how does that square up with the Sea World position that the 20 to 30 year life span for their captive orcas is "normal"?

Ancient Orcas


* * * * * * * * *


Help Endangered Right Whales


Tell the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to expand critically-needed ocean habitat for the North Atlantic right whale, before it's too late. Click the link below and send your message:

Help Right Whales 


* * * * * * * * *

   A fun dive site, where you can rent a beachfront condo, view great dive photos, and more!


* * * * * * *  




For the best Scuba Experience in the NY area, contact

Scuba Network of Long Island

Sales, Service, Basic & Advanced Dive Instruction,

Local Diving & Exotic Dive Trips


*  *  *  *  *  *


For a unique Cozumel experience check out:

Fulvio provides boutique rental accommodations and rental management services.


For the best in Cozumel diving, check out: 



* * * * * * * *
SCUBAVERSE, a great diving website.
Check it out:
Where Do You Want to Dive?
Check out this website, for the online dive community:


* * * * * * * * *

Great Cozumel
Information Resources
Whether you want to advertise a service, or just find out what's going down on the island, check out Laura Wilkinson's fabulous local newsletter:
  * * * * * * * 
Available Links!
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