July, 2014
For ocean lovers, divers, and 
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Porcupine Puffer, Palancar Gardens, Cozumel Mexico; Paul Mila photo


Welcome to the July issue of Sea-gram from
  Paul, Amanda & Fulvio, Diving Palancar Reef
Photo by Alison Dennis
This month we found ourselves back in Cozumel Mexico.
I have often described many of Cozumel's dive sites like diving in an aquarium. A perfect example is Colombia Shallows, an easy dive in twenty to thirty feet of gin-clear water with no current.
Take a brief look, 40 Seconds Inside an Aquarium:
Colombia Shallows, Cozumel Mexico
Colombia Shallows, Cozumel Mexico
In this issue's Story Behind The Photo, two divers are out for an afternoon stroll -- sixty feet below the surface on Yucab Reef.
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 the Puffer Fish, shown above, hiding in a cave in this month's headline photo.
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I hope you enjoy Sea-gram !
Paul J. Mila
  The Story Behind The Photo . . . 
                Afternoon Stroll, 60 Feet Down
                                                                     By Paul Mila
Here is the Story Behind the Photo:
 We made our second dive of the day at Cozumel's Yucab Reef. The mission was to find and photograph the rare and elusive Blue Parrot Fish. Not the ordinary Midnight Blue Parrot, but a smaller, iridescent blue Parrot.
We never did find our fish, and we actually ran out of reef toward the end of the dive. I looked behind us, and who did I see walking along the sandy bottom at 60 feet but divemaster Orlando and Amanda, a diver visiting from the UK.

For a real-time look at our walkers, check out the video:

Amanda & Orlando, Yucab Reef at 60 Feet Down
Amanda & Orlando, Yucab Reef at 60 Feet Down

Evidently, Amanda and Orlando were bored just finning around. So they put their fins under their arms and walked along the soft sand as they explored the reef.


Photo Equipment:

Sea Life 1400 Camera set to Underwater Still, natural light & Video, natural light. 

Amanda & Orlando
Amanda & Orlando, Out for a Stroll
 Featured Creature(s) . . .
                             The Puffer Fish
 By Paul Mila, Carle Place, NY
The pufffer fish is one of the more interesting sea creatures divers encounter throughout the Caribbean, Florida, and the Bahamas, ranging as far south as Brazil.
There are two common varieties, and they go by several names.
The Porcupine fish,
the largest puffer, like the one in this month's cover photo, is also called the Giant Puffer, or the Spotted Spiney Puffer, and can grow up to three feet long, as shown below.
Paul Mila Photo  


Paul Mila Photo
They are shy and tend to hide in cave openings where they can peer out at the world with their large eyes.
Their smaller cousins, the Balloon fish, are also called Spiny Puffers. They max out at about 14 inches.
Paul Mila Photo
Their spines lay flat unless provoked, as in the bottom picture. Then they inflate their bodies with water to make them a less tempting meal for predators or curious divers. 
Paul Mila Photo
is your home for exciting dive adventure novels
and YouTube videos featuring ocean creatures.
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Thanks for visiting, and we'll see you next month!
Paul J. Mila 
 Paul in Cozumel
75 Titus Avenue
Carle Place, New York 11514
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Featured Creature:

             Puffer Fish

                           Story lower left column.


 Quick Links
Updates & Miscellaneous Features
Enjoy A Great Read!
Former free diver and spearfisherman Al Sprague
recently published
his first adult novel,
The Clear Blue Line

 I had the pleasure of reviewing this exciting story, so I can highly recommend that you dive into adventure with Jack Savage and his fearless, hard-drinking spearfishing buddies, whose language is saltier than the sea in which they dive.


Ferocious tiger sharks, cut-throat pirates, and the beauiful women they love provide danger at every turn.


Author Al Sprague serves up all the action, romance, and escapist adventure anyone could ask for. 

Clear Blue Line
Click on the cover to order or to learn more about the book



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Lionfish, the Way

We Like to SeeThem  

During seven dives and several days of snorkeling in Cozumel I only saw two lionfish, thanks to an aggressive culling program. Feasting on delicious lion fish is also encouraged.


Dinner at my buddy Fulvio's house featured lionfish as the main course, served with olives, capers, and other seasonings. Yummy!  
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Great Turtle Rescue
Sea-gram fans Lorraine Fico-White and Jeff Reed sent us this great video of a diver rescuing a turtle in the Gulf of Mexico.
Enjoy a story with a happy ending!
GoPro: Diver Saves Sea Turtle
 Diver Saves Sea Turtle
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Whales in the News
Sea-gram reader Paul Stessel sent us this great photo story, about how a father & daughter's trip to visit the gray whales of the Baja resulted in a new book about saving the whales:

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   Sea Shepherd Update


 Check out the latest news from the

Sea Shepherd Conservation Organization:

 Sea Shepherd News



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Change of Pace? 

If you're looking fo a change of pace, check out this video story about cave diving in Florida with Peter Bucknell:

Diving Florida's Caves
Diving Florida's Caves



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  GoPro in Cozumel

Divers Brad & Cassie Cirimotich

posted some of their recent Cozumel videos taken with their GoPro set up. Enjoy: 

Palancar Caves and Paso Del Cedral Cozumel, Mexico Scuba
Palancar Caves and Paso Del Cedral Cozumel Mexico


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


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For the best scuba experience in the New York area, contact

Scuba Network of Long Island

Sales, Service, Basic & Advanced Dive Instruction,

Local Diving & Exotic Dive Trips


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For a unique Cozumel experience check out:

Fulvio provides boutique rental accommodations and rental management services.


For the best in Cozumel diving, check out: 



Looking for your Slice of Paradise ?

Contact Nancy Edwards at:



Jaime Ramirez, at:


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