December 2017
For ocean lovers, divers, and 
  MilaBooks Logo
Eagle Ray Cruising Cedral Pass, Cozumel, Mexico; Paul Mila Photo
Welcome to the December year-end edition of  Sea-gram  from

Best wishes to all 
Sea-gram readers for a Merry Christmas, a happy holiday season, and a healthy, prosperous 2018.
December found us back in Cozumel where I met up with Alison's friend, dive buddy Amanda Maguire, visiting from the UK.
Paul & Amanda, Palancar Caves, Cozumel
Photo by Fulvio Cuccurullo

December is a great time to dive in Cozumel, since it marks the beginning of eagle ray season. The rays start showing up in late November and remain for the winter. We saw giant eagle rays sporting 6-8 foot wingspans on almost every dive. The ray in this You-Tube video let me tag along for several precious moments. Note the "fellow traveler," a remora, tucked under its wing:     
Swimming with an Eagle Ray
Swimming with an Eagle Ray

This month's Featured Creature is the spotted eagle ray,  found in Cozumel, especially from December through March. 

This month's Story Behind the Photo features Diveheart, a not-for-profit organization that provides scuba diving instruction, opportunities, and adventures to children, adults, and veterans with disabilities.
Their tag line: Imagine the Possibilities. It's a great story.

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 dive buddy in need of an overdue "dive fix," please forward Sea-gram 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
Featured Creature . . .
                The Eagle Rays of Cozumel                                               By Paul Mila, Carle Place, NY
Spotted eagle rays are found worldwide, but one of the best places to see them is in Cozumel, Mexico, during the winter months.

Their pig-like snouts are designed for rooting through sandy bottoms as they hunt for their favorite food, mollusks, hiding in the sand.
Paul Mila Photo, Paso de Cedral, Cozumel
Since the rays frequently dig and stir up sand, they breathe by taking in water through round spiracles located on top of their heads, just behind each eye, and venting water through gill openings beneath their wings.

Eagle rays also enjoy cruising along walls in deep water, where they patrol in formation.
Cozumel Eagle Rays
Paul Mila Photo, Eagle Ray Alley, Cozumel

The rays frequently attract remoras and other hitchhikers, which hope to get a free meal when the rays feed. 
In this video, one of the remoras apparently startled the ray, which tries to shake it off.
Eagle Ray Tries to Disloge Remora
Eagle Ray Tries to Dislodge Remora
Paul Mila Video
Photo Equipment: 
Sea Life 2000 with Wide Angle Lens; ambient light
Story behind the Photo . . .
           "Imagine the possibilities."                                     
I had scheduled a book signing at La Cocay restaurant in Cozumel, Mexico, for my new adventure/thriller, 
Killer In Paradise. 
Dive buddy Steve Plevin mentioned that he would attend and bring some of his dive buddies from the Diveheart organization, who had just arrived for a week of diving.
Diveheart members at La Cocay restaurant, Cozumel

I was totally surprised when a van pulled up and many Diveheart members, some walking, some using wheelchairs, lined up to buy a copy of my book and speak with me. Meeting them and listening to their stories was truly inspirational.

To find out more about the great work this organization does, take a look at their media kit:

To learn how you can make a donation, click here:

Y ou can also visit the Diveheart folks at Beneath The Sea (BTS) 2018, March 23, 24, 25.
- your home for exciting dive adventure novels  
and YouTube videos featuring various ocean creatures.

Killer Has Arrived in Paradise!
Diver and art gallery owner Dayle Standish's search for a valuable artifact brings her to the Mayan Riviera, where she crosses paths with a vicious killer seeking the same object.  When the trail leads to Cozumel, Dayle's friends Terry and Joe Manetta join her in another underwater thriller.

Now available in both paperback and e-book from Amazon, and 
Click on the book cover for more information: 

MilaBooks Logo
To swim into my website click on the reading dolphin
                   Thanks for visiting; 
                   we'll see you next month!
                Paul J. Mila
75 Titus Avenue
Carle Place, New York 11514
To forward Sea-gram, 
just click the "Forward this email" link below.

Featured Creature:

            Spotted Eagle Rays         

Story Behind the Photo:

                 Diveheart: Imagine the possibilities

                                  (Stories, lower left column)  
Quick Links
Updates & Miscellaneous Features
On theTube!
Last month, talk show host Bonnie D. Graham invited me back on her cable TV show, 
Something To Talk About, to discuss my latest adventure novel, 
Killer In Paradise.
Bonnie was remote-casting from her new location in North Carolina. Check out the link; the show was a lot of fun.
Something To Talk About
Something To Talk About: "Paul J. Mila's Newest Thriller Novel: Killer in Paradise."

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News From Other Oceans

From the Galapagos
Dive buddy & 
Sea-gram fan Fulvio Cuccurullo went diving in the Galapagos Islands with the Aggressor operation a few months back and sent in this amazing video from his trip. 
The video and music, arranged by William Michaels, is fantastic. Sit back and treat yourself to three minutes of an amazing underwater adventure:
Diving Galapagos
Diving Galapagos

From Papau New Guinea

fan Martha Weisberg was diving in Papau New Guinea where she took some great up-close shots of the elusive Ghost Pipe fish. This strange little creature has the head of a sea horse and the body of ...  I don't know, you guess; perhaps a hummingbird?

In Martha's words:
"We were diving in Papua New Guinea at the Tawali Resort.  I used my Canon S110 with Ikelite housing. I don't remember when I used my macro lens, but do know I used it on the muck dive where we found the ghost pipefish.  Must have taken over eight shots to get one halfway decent photo of the pipe fish."

Thanks for sharing, Martha!

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Protecting Coral Reefs
The Coral Reef Alliance is dedicated to saving coral reefs. Learn about their
 latest initiatives, and how you can help:
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New Marine Park in Mexico!
Hundreds of fish species, thirty-seven shark and ray species, four types of sea turtles, and humpback whales can be found in the Pacific region known as Revillagigedo. 
Just recently, Mexico made it a national park, and the largest marine-protected area in North America. 
Get the details about this story from the PEW Charitable trust:

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 Sea Shepherd Update
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Organization is on the front lines protecting dolphins, whales, seals, and other marine mammals and sea life.
For the latest Sea Shepherd conservation initiatives, and for year-end donations, click here:

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Saving Whales!
The Center for Biological Diversity, Turtle Island Restoration Network, and Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation filed a notice of intent to sue  the Trump Administration for failing to protect humpback whale habitat in the Pacific Ocean, where the animals face threats from fisheries, ship strikes, and oil spills.
Click here for the entire story:

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A Great Newsletter !
Ben Davison's  Undercurrent Magazine  is informative, and always full of good tips on travel, dive equipment, and more.
Check it out:  Undercurrent Magazine 
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Check out my Cozumel Mexico beachfront condo on VRBO:
Condo Details
Here is the view from the condo:
Morning at the Residencias Reef Beachfront Condo
Morning at the Residencias Reef Beachfront Condo

  Fulvio and Sandra manage my
  Little Slice of Paradise.

For other properties that Fulvio manages visit his website:  Fulvio's Cozumel Rentals

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New York Diving 
For the best scuba experience in the 
New York area, contact:
Scuba Network of Long Island
Sales, Service, Basic and Advanced Dive Instruction.
Local Diving & Exotic Dive Trips:

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For the best Cozumel diving, 
check out dive operator Alison Dennis:
Looking for your own   
Slice of Paradise ?
Contact Nancy Edwards at Cozumel Living: 
Jaime Ramirez, at:
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Available Links
Post a link to your web site on Sea-gram!
 for details.
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