Location: About 25 minutes by speedboat in northwestern direction from Yap Pacific Divers. Way leads through German Channel.
Topography: Mill Channel is situated on the western side of the island. It opens from far inside the reef between Fanif, Rumung and Maap to the open ocean. The channels northern corner = Yap Corner, the southern corner = South Pass. The channel starts in it’s mouth at a depth of roughly 131 ft. (40 m) – the sandy bottom gets slowly shallower and shallower towards the Manta Ridge where it reaches a depth of 60-70 ft. (18-21 m). Both sides of the channel are steep walls and slopes dropping from about 15 ft. (5 m) down to the bottom. On the sandy bottom itself is intersected here and there with coral formations. After the Manta Ridge the depth of the channel is about 60-70 ft. (18-21 m) getting deeper the further you come to Car Wash – the depth past car wash – inside the channel - is about 130 ft. (40 m).
Points of Interest: Mill Channel is especially on incoming current a marvelous dive, very atmospheric – steep walls with hard and soft corals, areas full of whip corals and small sea fans. Coral heads on the sandy bottom where sometimes turtles hide. The sandy bottom is full of sleeping white tip sharks. Grey reef sharks cruising through the channel, sometimes schools of 30 – 50 baby reef sharks. Further Bumphead Parrot Fish, Lobsters, Barracudas, Schools of Jackfish, Turtles, Eagle Rays to name some of the species, which can be found here. And of course Manta Rays, which make their way inside the channel to reach cleaner stations and mating sites.
Current: Depending on moon, tide and weather conditions the current can be from almost zero (Slack Tide) to very strong (especially full and new moon).
The Route: Mill Channel is mainly done as a drift dive. We normally start somewhere close to the mouth of the channel and drift along the southern or northern wall towards Manta Ridge. Starting depth 80-90 ft. (24-27 m) and in multilevel technique slowly ascending until the end of the dive. After a safety stop close to the wall around our guide’s safety buoy ascend to the surface, where the boat already waits. It is during strong current possible to drift from Yap Corner, the mouth of the Channel, all the way to Car Wash, crossing the Manta Ridge.
Difficulty: Open Water/Advanced Open Water
Best time: All around the year, high tide