September  2018
     For ocean lovers, divers, and 
  MilaBooks Logo
Paul with a hawksbill turtle
Swimming With a Hawksbill, Alison Dennis photo, Cozumel Mexico
Welcome to the September edition of Sea-gram  from  

In case you're wondering if you missed the August Sea-gram, you didn't; we missed you.  August was a busy travel month, with visits to Cozumel and Ocean City, Maryland. 

August and September are exciting months for sea turtle lovers because that's when most of the turtle nests laid during the previous two months will hatch.  
My dive club, Long Island Network Divers, and I visited Cozumel, and we were privileged to witness one of nature's miracles: the birth of  loggerhead sea turtles. 

This short YouTube video shows the moment when about 100 baby loggerheads are released after hatching in their underground nest.  Pay particular interest to the struggle one little turtle has, fighting through a heavy infestation of sargassum seaweed that washed up along Caribbean shores this year:
Cozumel Turtles 2018
Cozumel Turtles 2018
The odds of baby turtles growing to maturity are slim -- some estimates are as low as 1 in 1,000.  Let's hope that this little one will be THE 1.

This month's Conservation Corner is about the struggles sea turtles are having against pollution and other problems, mostly human-made.
This month's  Story Behind the Photo(s)  article features a great turtle photo taken by friend and fellow author, (If Fish Could Talk,) Barbara Petersen.

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.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Sea-gram !
  Paul J. Mila
  Conservation Corner . . .
               Sea Turtles Need Our Help !
All sea turtle species are endangered, due to a combination of natural and human causes. An unprecedented bloom of sargassum sea weed now threatens sea turtles.
  The sargassum clogs beaches . . .

. . . impedes baby turtles trying to reach the sea . . .

. . . and even kills adult turtles: 
This dead green sea turtle, an endangered species, was found tangled in Sargassum on the island of Barbados in June.  
As of now the cause of this sargassum bloom is still unknown -- but likely culprits: global warming and human-caused nutrient runoff.

Other major threats: PLASTICS . . .
  . . . and fishing nets

And worst of all, this story where over three hundred endangered Olive Ridley turtles were killed after becoming trapped in an illegal fishing net off Mexico's southern coast:                                                                                                                                                                 >>>>>>
(photo: PROFEPA)
 Story Behind the Photo . . .
                            A Hawksbill Hitchhiker
By Barbara Petersen
Barbara was diving in Cozumel, Mexico when she spotted this hawksbill turtle. Here is Barbara's story behind the photo:

"I took the picture while diving Palancar Gardens July 31st.  
It was probably at about 40 ft. 

"I loved the way it turned out with the blue water behind, and the little fish right below his rear flipper.  

"Usually, this time of year there isn't much current but some days we have had really strong currents then there are days with practically none.  The water temperature had been 84 but days before it was 82 and I felt like I was freezing!!! Crazy! " 
Hawksbill Turtle, and Hitchkiker; Barbara Petersen Photo

Photo Equipment:
"I was using a Canon Powershot G10 in an Ikelite housing.   
I always set my camera on Manual so I can set the shutter speed and F-stop.  The shutter speed was 1/125 and the F-Stop was 5.6.  ISO 100. 
I was also using an Ikelite DS-51 strobe. " 

Thanks for sharing, Barbara.
is your home for exciting dive adventure novels, nonfiction dive stories, children's books,  and YouTube videos featuring various ocean creatures. 

In the spirit of our turtle issue, check the story of Harry Hawksbill, 
who teaches children about sea life, and a social lesson about accepting those who differ from us.

Available from all online booksellers,, Best Publishing Company, and Scuba Network, Long Island.

                                         Click on the cover photo for more information:

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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
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Conservation Corner: 

        Sea Turtles Need Our Help!

Story Behind the Photo:
           A Hawksbill Hitchhiker


                      Stories lower left column.

Quick Links
Updates & Miscellaneous Features
Where there are kids 
there is hope!
I've been lucky to see children taking a strong interest in the ocean.

For example:
In Cozumel, eleven-year old Preston visiting from Texas participated in a sea turtle rescue project. He helped save baby loggerheads who couldn't make it out of the nest on their own:
Minutes later, Preston released the little loggerheads into the ocean to join their nest mates.

Walking the beach in Ocean City, Maryland, I was surprised to see a crocodile and a shark together. 

On the way back I met the artist:
little Aileen from New York, putting the finishing touches on her sand-art . . .

. . . while my grandchildren, Sophie & Max, experienced the wonder of a shallow bay at sunset.

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If you come across a piece of plastic on the beach, please pick it up so a sea turtle, or other creature, won't ingest it.

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Sea Shepherd Update
Read about Sea Shepherd's Operation Jairo - to save sea turtles:

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

Check out the view from my condo:
Morning at the Residencias Reef Beachfront Condo
Morning at the Residencias Reef
Beachfront Condo

Fulvio manages my  Little Slice of Paradise. 
For other properties that Fulvio manages visit his site:
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New York Diving 
Scuba Network of Long Island
Sales, Service, Basic & Advanced Dive Instruction,
Local Diving & Exotic Dive Trips

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For the best in Cozumel diving, 
check out dive operator Alison Dennis:
Looking for your own 
Slice of Paradise?
Contact Nancy Edwards at: 
Jaime Ramirez, at:
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