Wednesday, June 3, 2015


If there is one thing for certain that I have learned from Stanford at Sea, it is that you have never truly experienced the vivacity of color until you have sailed the open ocean. While there are a plethora of events that I will never forget or cease to cherish from this incredible five-week voyage, my experience with colors will remain one of the dearest to me.

Alicia sits in the rigging
The first time that I had ever seen the color blue was the first time I was truly out at Open Ocean. Never had I seen something so vibrant, electric, and piercing as the Pacific Ocean fifty nautical miles out from shore. The water here had escaped the tainted grays and blacks of urban living, and was free to pulsate with a profound, living blue. From it, a salty breeze whipped playfully around the stern of the ship, as I saw white as bright as snow form frothy foam at the tips of waves that broke here.
The first time that I had ever seen the color green was the first time I had spotted the lush landscape of an island. The hills of Tahiti were gentle giants, a lulling slope blanketed by a vivacious green. Green so deliciously bright that when I closed my eyes, the resonance of the color remained a phantom of my vision. Green so memorable that I doubt I can continue to accept any other green as true.

The first time that I had ever seen the color red was after a five hour battle with a one hundred and fifty pound tuna. As the gorgeous, silver streaked, deep blue beast was hauled aboard the ship, red poured out of its lesion like wine out of a silver goblet. This red was so profound that I thought of my own mortality as I watched it gently pool around the luminous creature. Perhaps a sterling trophy to some fishermen, but an orb of color for me.

The first time that I had ever seen the color gold was the thick, buttery yellow that spread across the crisp, pale sky as the sun dipped, hot onto the horizon. This gold seem to drip, broiling and shimmery, onto the abysmal, rolling sea, spreading out like a carpet woven with shimmering thread. The gold was so dazzling it seemed to seep into my skin, and warm my breeze-cooled veins. I welcomed this soothing warmth despite the climate of the tropics.

While I have seen many gorgeous colors on this trip, my favorite by far is the colors of hands as they haul, ease, make fast, make ready, and coil the lines of our egg-shell white sails. These colors range from a gradient of golden brown to sun-kissed ivory. I love these colors not only because of their physical appearance, but what they signify.  We have come so far in our journey aboard the Robert C. Seamans, sweating, singing, and working under the sizzling sun of the equatorial Pacific. Not only does color help preserve the myriad of memories I have made, but it serves as an indication of time, an indication of commitment, and an indication of how far we have progressed as sailors.
Perhaps the most memorable color will be radiating red of the Morning Watch sunburn. On the RCS, earning a freckle is like earning your stripes.

A little more freckled


Eleanor Marsh said...

Your writing vividly brings your surroundings to life, Alicia! And I love the crow's nest point of view. Brava! Please give my daughter Dilly a hug for me & tell her I miss her so much and can't wait to see her back home (and I'm sorry if this is embarrassing her, I think all the other parents must share my sentiments)!!!

RJ said...

I cried as I read you colorful post. Thank you for sharing.