September, 2014
For ocean lovers, divers, and 
 MilaBooks Logo
Scrawled File Fish
Scrawled File Fish, Cozumel Mexico; Paul Mila Photo; SeaLife camera & digital strobe.


Welcome to the September issue of Sea-gram, from
Paul on the dock
Paul, Waitin' on the Dock
Good to see you again. We took a break in August. 
Hope your summer was filled with fun, sun & blue water!

Two divers sent us great photo stories, so this issue features two Story Behind The Photo 
articles, both from Cozumel, Mexico:
1. Captain Patrick Smith and his fiance Cindy were joined by a friendly hawksbill turtle during their safety stop.
2. Then, divers Keith Rowe and his son William spotted an octopus getting ready to enjoy lunch.
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 File Fish, which comes in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. 
The larger variety is the scrawled file fish, featured in this month's headline photo above.  
For a quick look at file fish behavior, especially their ability to raise a sharp spine when feeling threatened, or perhaps to discourage an amorous suitor, click the video:
Spotted Filefish in Cozumel
Spotted Filefish in Cozumel; Paul Mila Video

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 Stories Behind The Photos . . . 
 1. Hawksbill Flyby
                    By Captain Patrick Smith, Huntington Beach, CA

 2. Interrupted Lunch, 45 Feet Down
                                               By Keith Rowe, Conway Arkansas
This friendly, or perhaps curious, hawksbill, accompanied Patrick & Cindy during their safety stop.

Here is Patrick's Story Behind the Photo:

"My fiance, Cindy and I were doing our safety stop on the drift after an excellent dive on Tormentos Reef. During the dive we had seen barracuda, grouper, mating oceanic triggerfish, parrot fish, a nurse shark or two, and much more. 
"We were very pleased with the dive and I had thought we had left all our photo subjects below when we were joined by this beautiful hawksbill. He/she flew with us for a while as we drifted - long enough to pose for several images and then descended down to the reefs below. Having one of the reef locals for company like that made this one of the best safety stops on the whole trip. 
"The warm, clear water along with the richness and diversity of the reefs off Cozumel are amazing and is the reason we return as often as we can."

Photo Equipment:
Olympus OMD EM-5 with two Sea & Sea YS-D1 strobes.


This great photo was sent in by Keith Rowe, diving with Scuba with Alison, in Cozumel Mexico.

Here is Keith's Story Behind the Photo:
"My 13 year old son William and I were diving with Alison (Scuba with Alison) on July 16 at Delilah Reef, when she spotted 'something' on a conch shell below us. We were about 45 feet deep. 
 "Of course we went to inspect and interrupted lunch for this octopus! 
An octopus has been on my list for years. Fortunate that Alison suspected it was one."

[Editor's note:
What makes Keith's photo so unusual is that octopi are almost never seen totally out in the open during the daytime.]

"My wife and 11 year old daughter were also diving the two days before. Both son William and daughter Jessica saw their first sharks while diving."
Photo Equipment:

Nikon Coolpix 10 megapixel in an Ikelite Ultra Compact enclosure.

 Featured Creature(s) . . .
                             The File Fish
 By Paul Mila, Carle Place, NY
File fish are among the more interesting sea creatures that divers and snorkelers encounter in the Caribbean, Florida, and the Bahamas, ranging as far south as Brazil.
There are over half a dozen species of file fish. Two of the most common are the scrawled file fish, shown below and in the headline photo above, and the white spotted file fish. 


The scrawled is the largest, up to three feet, featuring an elongated shape and a broad, broom-like tail. As the headline photo and below photo show, they can rotate their eyes to check out an approaching diver. They are shy and difficult to approach, and under stress will change their color from silvery blue to lavender, to gray, tan, or olive brown.
filefish eye shot
Paul Mila Photo  


The white spotted variety, 12 to 18 inches in length, may or may not display their spots, and can appear yellow, orange, brown or combinations of those colors, as shown below. 

They are frequently found in pairs and are easier to approach.

    Paul Mila Photo

Paul Mila Photo 
Photos taken with SeaLife 1400 camera & digital strobe.
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:

             File Fish

                           Story lower left column.

 Quick Links
Updates & Miscellaneous Features

Start Them Young!

Granddaughter Emma Rose Chiappetta celebrates her first birthday, and Sea-gram debut, wearing her sperm whale "T".    

* * * * * * * * *

New Dolphin Species
Sea-gram reader JR Reed sent in this unusual story about a new dolphin species found in Australia. 

We've heard of humpback whales, but humpback dolphins?? 

Check it out:

 Humpback Dolphins


 * * * * * * *

 Great Photography!

 Photographer Li Westerlund is a very talented photographer, above and below the surface. She recently spent time with giant whale sharks off Cocos Island, Costa Rica.

Check out her photo series, Gentle Souls of the Deep -- 

in amazing black & white!


* * * * * * * * *


Leatherback Rescued 

in New Jersey

 Sea turtle enthusiast, and Sea-gram fan, Lorraine White, sent in this video story about a leatherback sea turtle rescue in New Jersey waters:

Leatherback Rescue 


* * * * * * * * *

Misplaced Gray Whale
reader Paul Stessel sent in this video story about a gray whale calf that ventured into Marina Del Rey Harbor, Los Angeles:



Giant Squid

Paul also sent us this story about a giant squid found by a fisherman off the coast of Matagorda, Texas:

Giant Squid 


Whales Visit NYC

AND: Paul also sent in this story about humpback whales visiting The Big Apple. This photo story shows a humpback checking out Manhattan & the Empire State Building:

Humpbacks in NYC 


* * * * * * * *


Great White Cage Diving

Now that Shark Week is over and you're curious about cage diving with great whites, contact these folks:

Great Whites 


* * * * * * * * *


Ocean Conservation Update

The folks from PEW Charitable Trust always have conservation initiatives underway. 
Check out what they're up to, and how you can get involved:  

* * * * * * * * * 
 Sea Shepherd Update
Sea Shepherd's latest campaign involved stopping the "Grind," the killing of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands. Check out how they are doing and how you can help: 



  * * * * * * * *


Visit my new dive site (redesigned by, where you can rent my beachfront condo, view great dive photos, and more!  


* * * * * * *  




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


*  *  *  *  *  *

New Cozumel Condos

If you're looking to
"Live The Dream" check out this new project in Cozumel:

Casa Victoria 


* * * * * * * * *


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:


* * * * * * * * *

  Available Links!
Post a link to your web site on Sea-gram!
 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