Biodiversity Resort dive centre manager and part time Indiana Jones, Max Finzi, isn’t only always on the look out for his next dive adventure, he’s also looking for his next big historical find. On his days off he can be seen sneaking off into the jungle armed with his metal detector and a shovel, ready to dig up the past. In April he got lucky and made a small discovery – with a big story behind it!
One of the most talked about Raja Ampat dive sites in the Dampier Straight is Mike’s Point, renowned for it’s challenging currents and adjacent to Kerupiar Island. A tale often told about Kerupiar Island is that during WWII it was bombed by Allied planes after being mistakenly identified as a Japanese ship. The currents which part around the island, looked like that of a ship from the air, mistakenly leading the Allied air-forces to think it was a camouflaged warship.
Outside the Biodiversity dive centre Max has unearthed a .50-calibre bullet with a 1942 headstamp. These bullets were used in the Browning M2 machine guns, which were the most widely used weapon on American bomber and fighter planes in WWII.
Does this corroborate the Mike’s Point myth? Maybe not quite – but it certainly confirms there was plenty of activity in the area in the 1940s.
You’ll be pleased to know that in the intervening years the reef at Mike’s point has recovered remarkably and has become one of the best places to scuba dive in Raja Ampat. Where the chunks of rocks were blown off, magnificent crevices and overhangs were created – perfect for an array of macro subjects. Ascending on a great wall, there is usually a group of sweetlips smiling at the cameras. Since it sits almost smack in the middle of the Dampier Strait, one regularly spots hunting Spanish Mackerel, or cruising White Tip Reef and Black Tip Reef Sharks. As you spend the latter half of the dive in the shallows, be on the lookout for Wobbegong and Epaulette Sharks, Turtles, and even sea snakes.
So, anyone fancy a trip to Mike’s point for an archaeological dive to find out more?! Sign up for your Raja Ampat dive package here!