Sepember 2016
For ocean lovers, divers, and 
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Goliath Grouper
"Tammy & Goliath"
Tammy Cook & Goliath Grouper, Palancar Reef, Cozumel, Mexico, Paul Mila Photo
Welcome to the September Sea-gra m  from  

This issue of Sea-gram is packed with interesting stories! 

Diving in Cozumel last month, dive buddies Fulvio Cuccurrulo, Phil Cooper and I experienced some amazing adventures, such as meeting up with a goliath grouper. See Story Behind the Photo article.
Fulvio, Paul, & Phil
Photo by Alison Dennis

Turtle nest update: the loggerhead turtle nest in front of our Residencias Reef Condos finally hatched!

I missed the big event by two days, but condo owners Laura Bishard & Kathy Heinz captured the action.
Laura photographed the baby loggerheads digging their way out of their underground nest . . .

 . . . while Kathy caught their journey over the sand . . .

 . . . and finally into the sea.


This month's Story Behind the Photo article features our encounter with a rare Goliath Grouper.

Our C onservation Corner article this month is Summer of the Sea Turtles. 
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.
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I hope you enjoy Sea-gram !
Paul J. Mila
 Story Behind the Photo . . .
                "Tammy & Goliath"   
                                                           By Paul Mila

 Our group, Fulvio, Phil, Tammy, and her husband Dick, was near the end of our dive on Cozumel's Palancar Bricks Reef, at about 70 feet down. We saw dive master Alison Dennis frantically pointing ahead. 
We swam toward where Alison was pointing and saw a huge fish, about 5-feet long, and husky. It resembled a grouper, but it was brownish-green, not the usual gray and black coloring of most groupers you normally see. Plus, this fish featured a spiny dorsal fin. 

   I got closer and took a photo . . .

 . . . and then diver Tammy Cook moved in next to the fish, providing a good size perspective.

After the dive, Alison informed us we had encountered a very rare goliath grouper -- so rare that she had not seen one in Cozumel for over 15 years!

These slow-moving, curious fish have been hunted to near extinction in most of the Caribbean.

Photo Equipment:
SeaLife DC 1400 with digital strobe and wide angle lens.
 Conservation Corner . . .
           Summer of the Sea Turtles
                                                        by Paul Mila        
During the summer months, Cozumel island provides sea turtle lovers with two unique opportunities to view their life cycles.
First is the chance to watch loggerhead and green sea turtles nesting, actually laying their eggs.

In this short video, a mother green turtle is bathed in the eerie red light that we had to use because white light startles the turtles. She has already laid over 100 eggs and now covers the nest. Then she slowly lumbers back to the sea.

Second is watching loggerhead turtle hatchlings climb out of their nests after two months underground, and struggle to reach the sea.

Waiting for the turtles to make their appearance, v olunteer Patrick Crane shows us an unhatched egg, along with a survivor, a green sea turtle rescued from another nest. Then, volunteer Edgar helps clear the way for the hatchlings to make their perilous march to the sea.
It was amazing to see the tiny turtles emerge from their underground nest and then make their way toward the sea.
According to Patrick, female loggerheads from this nest will not return to this beach to lay their own eggs for about 25 years. Male turtles will remain at sea for their entire lives, never to touch land again.

If you'd like information on how you can help Cozumel's turtle nesting & release program, contact Ecologia Cozumel on Facebook.

is your home for exciting dive adventure novels 
and YouTube videos featuring various 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
To forward Sea-gram to a friend, please click the "Forward email" link below.

Story Behind the Photo:

"Tammy & Goliath"  



Conservation Corner:

"Summer of the Sea Turtles"

 Stories lower left column.

Quick Links
Updates & Miscellaneous Features

  Best Publishing Company
has selected my new children's book, 
Harry Hawksbill 
Helps His Friends,
to kick off their new line of children's books.

Review by Cathy Church, award-winning underwater photographer, teacher, and author:

"This terrific little book has everything. The story is fantasy, but the underwater color photos showing the interaction of reef characters are real. 
The information about turtles is easy to understand, and the fish learn a great lesson about befriending those who are not always just like you.  It even has easy, fun questions at the end to enhance the learning." 

Pre-sale discounts available
directly from the publisher 
until October 9th.
 $9.99, discounted from the list price of $11.99!

Simply click on the BPC Kids logo for ordering information about
Harry Hawksbill and for details about other Best Publications:

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Why you shouldn't take those empty shells home!

Sea-gram fan Martha Weisberg sent us two interesting videos.
First, about how hermit crabs choose an appropriate home:

This second video is very cool:
Strange circles, but not built by aliens from outer space:

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The Long Island Diver's Association 
(LIDA) has  announced two interesting events:

1. On September 20th:

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Deadly Sea Encounters 
The folks from the
10-Foot Stop sent us this slide show in case you encounter lionfish, stonefish, box jellies, Portuguese man o'war, blue ringed octopus, or a host of other potentially dangerous creatures.
Check out their link:
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 PEW Updates

The PEW Charitable Trust announced several great conservation initiatives. 
Click their links to learn more:

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Sea Shepherd Update
Spend an afternoon with Sea Shepherd and the whales:

The folks at Sea Shepherd have several conservation initiatives going on and can really use your assistance.
Visit their website to learn how you can help:

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  A Great Newsletter !
If you don't subscribe to Ben Davison's  Undercurrent Magazine,  you should.  It is informative and full of good tips on travel, dive equipment and more.
Check it out:

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Check out my Cozumel, Mexico beachfront condo on VRBO:
Condo Details
Here is your view from the condo:
Morning at the Residencias Reef Beachfront Condo
Morning at the Residencias Reef Beachfront Condo
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New York Diving 
Scuba Network of Long Island
Sales, Service, Basic and Advanced 
Dive Instruction
Local Diving & Exotic Dive Trips

For the best scuba experience in the New York area, contact
For the best in Cozumel diving, 
check out Alison Dennis:
Looking for your own Slice of Paradise ?
Contact Nancy Edwards at Cozumel Living: 
Jaime Ramirez at:
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E-mail for details.

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