January, 2015
For ocean lovers, divers, and 
 MilaBooks Logo
"Here's Lookin' at You, Kid."
Nassau Grouper, Paul Mila Photo, Cozumel Mexico ©
Welcome to the January edition of Sea-gram from
Wishing all our readers a prosperous & happy 2015!
January found me back in Cozumel, diving with buddy Fulvio on Alison's boat, The Maximus.

Fulvio & Paul, Diving San Francisco Wall, Cozumel

Alison Dennis Photo

One of the treats of winter diving in Cozumel, besides the fabulous weather, is the annual return of the eagle rays.
This year was no exception, as one of these graceful giants saluted us with a flyover, almost blotting out the sun with it's ten-foot wingspan:  
Eagle Ray Soaring
Eagle Ray Soaring
Santa was very good to me this Christmas, and left a SeaLife SeaDragon 2000 video light under my tree.
So when I spotted this spiny lobster strolling around inside a small cave I was able to shoot some video even though it was dark inside. That lobster's tail sure looked juicy!
Lobster in a cave
Spiny lobster inside a cave
This month's Conservation Corner features an initiative to save deep-sea corals, brought to our attention by Jamie Pollack, New York & Pennsylvania Field Coordinator for the PEW Charitable Trusts. 
In our Story Behind the Photo article, a hawksbill turtle almost gave me a "Flipper-bump."
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.

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

I hope you enjoy Sea-gram !
Paul J. Mila
  Conservation Corner . . .
            Saving Deep-Sea Corals
       By Jamie Pollack,
                PEW Charitable Trust Field Coordinator
                                                   for New York & Pennsylvania
We need your help! Take Action by Jan 28th.
Tell the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council to protect deep-sea corals from destructive fishing practices.
Not far off the East Coast of the United States, deep-sea corals such as those pictured below, provide critical habitat for countless fish and invertebrates.
Research suggests that these ancient, fragile creatures provide critical habitat for the diverse species that live with them and form the foundation of ecosystems that may someday yield extraordinary benefits to human health, potentially including cancer treatments. 
Let your council members know that you want them to take action! 
Click on the deep sea corals photo for the petition:
deep sea corals
Deep Sea Corals, Norfolk Canyon, Virginia
Help us protect a 39,000 sq miles area off the coast of NY, NJ, DE, MD, & VA, to establish the largest habitat protection area in the history of Atlantic fishery management.
Watch this short video from NOAA's deep-sea coral explorations along the Atlantic Coast:
NOAA Deep-Sea Corals Footage
NOAA Deep-Sea Corals Footage
 Story Behind the Photo(s). . .
                   Hawksbill "Flipper-bump"
                                        By Paul Mila, Carle Place, NY

We humans have our fist-bump. So what do you call it when a hawksbill turtle almost runs into you?

Our group was diving on Cozumel's Columbia Deep, about 75 feet down. I was preparing to photograph a coral mound when a small hawksbill turtle popped up, surprising me. I took that shot  . . . 

hawksbill turtle
Hawksbill Popping up; Paul Mila photo©

 . . .and then, as I stayed relaxed and motionless, the
hawksbill just kept coming toward me . . . 

Hawksbill Flipper Bump; Paul Mila Photo©

 . . . and almost gave me a "flipper-bump" as he went by.

But I followed proper sea creature rules of engagement, and pulled my hand back.


Photo Equipment:

SeaLife 1400 Camera & Fisheye Wide Angle lens with SeaLife Digital Flash.

Photo Tip: 

Position yourself in front of sea critters and let them come toward you. Don't chase or move toward your subjects. You'll just spook them and you cannot catch up. Instead of a nice face-shot all you'll get is a butt-shot.

is your home for exciting dive adventure novels
and YouTube videos featuring various ocean creatures.
Coming soon: Bubbles Up, a non-fiction foray into Planet Ocean, with co-author Judy Hemenway.
Stay tuned for publication details. 
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.

Conservation Corner:

 Help Save Deep-Sea Corals         

                   Story lower left column.


 Quick Links
Updates & Miscellaneous Features
Looking for an underwater thriller?
Bonnie Cardone, Women Divers Hall of Fame member and author has published two additional adventure novels in her Cinnamon Greene adventure mystery series.
Click the book covers and check out all three:
Bride Wore Black    















* * * * * * * * *


What We Divers See

This youtube video taken in Bali gives non-divers a glimpse into the world of scuba divers, and why we are so passionate about what we do. Enjoy!

Bali Diving HD
Bali Diving HD



 * * * * * * * * *

Plastic Pollution

The flipside of the above video is the tragedy humans are inflicting on our oceans.

Sea-gram reader Tom Helmke sent in this story, that the search for the missing aircraft that recently crashed in the Indian Ocean has highlighted this severe problem:

Plastic Pollution


 * * * * * * * * 


   Sea Shepherd Update


Sea Shepherd Conservation Organization is one of the most pro-active organizations protecting sea life today. Rather than conduct passive demonstrations, Sea Shepherd actively confronts those whose actions would bring whales, dolphins, blue fin tuna, and other ocean creatures to the brink of extinction. So visit their website and help out where you can:

 Sea Shepherd News

 Dolphin Taiji Cove Update


  * * * * * * * *


Mission Blue

Sea-gram reader Martha Weisberg sent in this story about the Mission Blue initiative, which explains how you can help save our oceans by creating a global network of marine protected areas - Hope Spots - large enough to protect and restore the ocean, "Earth's blue heart."

Dr. Sylvia Earle is supporting this campaign.

Click here and learn about Mission Blue, and how you can help:

Mission Blue


 * * * * * * * * *

Ocean Life on Brink of Extinction 

Highlighting the need for initiatives like Mission Blue and the Deep-Sea Coral project is this New York Times story sent in by Sea-gram reader Jeff Reed:

Ocean Life on Brink of Extinction



* * * * * * * * *

   A fun dive site, where you can rent a 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


*  *  *  *  *  *


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