After a few days the trip could start. I arrived in the evening in Kota Kinabalu and it turned out that my hotel booking was not arranged but was able to get a room. The hotel was good and even with free WiFi which was really fast. I even could get my breakfast at my room at 04:00 hr. It was only 10 minutes by taxi tot the airport, terminal 2. It was not clear where the Layang Layang counter was but after some searching I spotted a sign post. Later some people of the Layang Layang resort showed up but the lady who had to do the check-in (and had all the relevant documents) came too late. Gradually more people (divers, mostly from Hong Kong, Japan and some Europeans) showed up and they started to check in.
The check-in procedure was funny. After processing of the documents, you also have go on the scale yourself together with the hand luggage. In my case, it turned out to be easy as the scale goes only till 100 KG and gave an error. No extra charge for me! However, you have to be prepared not to bring too much excess luggage as it might be refused or charged for. Imagine that you are flying on a small plane and every kilo is important. I had carefully selected what I absolutely needed and what I could leave home. That had resulted in a total weight of 35 KG of luggage. This consisted of radio, antennas, coax, laptop, photo camera, all other equipment and tools and as less as possible cloths.
Once we were ready to board, we walked to the plane. Once in the plane I discovered that it was a Russian plane, including 2 Russian pilots and their Russian instructor. I got the impression that the pilots still had to learn how to fly as the instructor always spoke to them and most of the time hung into the cockpit, even during take-off and landing. Nevertheless, we managed to reach the island but it was a strange experience.
We arrived at the island at about 08:30 local time. I first got room 1326 which was absolutely a disaster for me, so I asked the management if I could get one on the other end of the block. Later I got room 1302 which was at the end of the block and gave me a good position to place the antenna in the garden next to the building and run the coax cable easily into the room.
In the meantime I handed over my papers to the resort manager who was going to submit them to the commander of the naval base on the island. Not long after I had established my radio and erected the vertical in the garden, I got the approval and could start the operation.
- Approaching the small island Approaching the small island
- Russian pilots Russian pilots
- Inside the plane Inside the plane
- Welcome to Layang Layang Welcome to Layang Layang