Between the islands of Gam and Mansuar in the Dampier Strait of Raja Ampat, an area famous for the best dive sites, you will come across a pinnacle with distinctive rock formations and small trees growing on the plateau, often with a large number of birds chirping in the branches or circling the tiny landmass.
This pinnacle is known as Mike’s Point, an incredible dive site like no other in Raja Ampat. Locals tell a tale that the island was mistakingly identified as a warship during the Second World War and subsequently bombed in an airstrike. Another story is that it was the site of now illegal dynamite fishing practices, a fascinating history for such a small island. As both tales suggest, the island appears to be damaged over the years, above and below the surface. Massive crevasses and overhangs are found all around the pinnacle, with an enormous reef plateau surrounding the island below the surface. At the south-facing part of the island, you can find a massive reef wall that extends to depths over 40m. The wall is covered in soft coral growth and is home to masses of macro life. The huge overhangs provide shelter from the currents for schools of yellow striped sweetlips and many other fish species.
As you make your way around the island, the reef wall turns into slopes that extend from the sea bottom in the west around the northern edge of the island to the east, finally plateauing at 8m with numerous overhangs and natural swim-throughs all around. The slopes and the plateaus are covered in the most colourful hard coral formations you can imagine stretching as far as you can see. This is the perfect spot to do your safety stop as the sunlight shines through the rock formations and coral growth, creating truly incredible sights to end your dive.
Because of the island’s location in the center of Dampier Strait, the dive site is subject to powerful currents that bring large schools of marine life to the site. Therefore, while it is possible to dive the site during the current peak, it is not advised to do so unless you are a very experienced diver with a local guide with intimate knowledge of the site and currents in the area. It was possible to use reef hooks in the past, but divers can no longer make use of these with recent conservation regulations.
It is recommended that most divers dive the site in the slack tide period. This allows divers to experience the entire site at a much more relaxed and safe pace. As with any dive site, always speak to your guide or instructor about your skill and comfort level. While this might sound intimidating, this is one dive site that you should not miss when in Raja Ampat.