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We made the 12:45 ferry to Portsmouth with one minute to spare, and opted for the 'sun deck' despite the total absence of sunlight. The deck felt more inviting than the humid, dark interior of the boat with airplane-like seats and sullen-looking people. We ate cheese and pickle sandwiches that neither of us liked very much. A NOAA-19 pass began just three minutes after the boat's departure. Though the maximum elevation was only 18 degrees to the west, I decided to try anyway, having never received a satellite image while moving in water! It worked far better than anticipated- I curled the legs of the V dipole antenna tripod around the metal railing, and a few minutes later the signal was ringing-in clearly. I wondered how my trajectory on the boat was affecting the image reception, if at all. A young man who had also come up to the deck asked if he could take a photo of me with his analogue film camera. He had travelled to the Isle of Wight for the weekend to 'see the stars'. Yet he also admitted to being 'very out of it' and having had 'little sleep'. He lamented the rise of Starlink and the other ways we are 'ruining the planet', and didn't say much more. When we approached the port, the clearly audible signal of NOAA-19 cut out sharply for a few seconds, so much so that I briefly wondered whether the satellite had stopped transmitting or glitched for these seconds. My experience of noise is normally a little 'softer', more like a gradient than a cut.

Date

8 July 2024 12:50:43

Location

Ferry from Ryde to Portsmouth, The Solent Channel

Country or Territory

United Kingdom

Name

Sasha Engelmann

Satellite

NOAA-19

Radio Callsign

M6IOR

Latitute / Longitude

50.757674, -1.134590