Race 1 - Day 24
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Crew Diary - Race 1 Day 24: Liverpool to Punta del Este
'Colours' by Graham Bell
Whilst Tim's blog today focused on the more mundane aspects of life on GREAT Britain, I have decided to get a little more ethereal and look at on the colours we see day to day on the boat and what they mean to us. Looking constantly at the same things day after day makes you long for a different perspective, but to also start to take meaning from what you see in front of you.
Blue – it has always been my favourite colour, which is handy out here on the Big Blue. There is so much of it, but blue can take many shapes and shades. It has by far the biggest range of all the colours: royal blue in our Union Jack, navy blue, sky blue, sea blue, azure, aqua marine, cobalt blue, baby blue. Out here, the sea is not just one shade of blue, the colours and shades seem to change in swathes. The best view is from the top of the mast, although with the up-wind beating we have been doing over the last couple of days, no one has ventured up there recently. The horizon marks the curved line between sea and sky; the sea is a much deeper blue at a distance but is met by a clear almost baby blue sky. Down here in the tropics, the sunsets and sunrises happen fast, pretty much as soon as you have said goodbye to the sun, it's dark. The are no lingering red sundowns.
Which brings me onto – Red. It is the colour of the devil and one that spells nothing but danger and hardship on the boat. Don't get me wrong, even as someone with red/green colour blindness, I can appreciate a good red (and not just the Malbec that is waiting for us in Punta). Ferrari's are red, my motorbike is red, the British and Irish Lions are red, even some people's football teams in the premier league are red, but on this boat, red equals hardship. The sweaty red foulie trousers mentioned in Tim's blog are red, our life jackets, a constant reminder of the danger on board are red, the red light that we operate by at night in order not to destroy the helms night vision is virtually impossible to see by if you are red/green colour blind. The spinnaker tack line we released by accident is red, the number three reefing line is red. The stinky, sweaty, mattresses that we try and sleep on are red, the Sriracha sauce we smother our food in to mask any flavour is red, and finally the blood we have shed for the cause is red. Admittedly it has not been much blood, and cut finger from a broken can opener, a grazed shin (me), and a gashed elbow, sustained in the partaking of bedroom Olympics. See Catherine's day 20 blog - getting into a top bunk on the high side is not easy.
Green – Our green and pleasant land. I've always noticed when returning to the UK how green our beautiful country is. Here there is no green...only our Yankee sheets, but that is your lot, green we miss you. I imagine some of the delightful greens will be turning brown if the weather reports we have from home are accurate. Mellow-yellow we don't see much of either, tins of sweetcorn, our danbouys, our team water bottles, and the stuff that comes out the other end (which our doc Tess Hicks insists we monitor using a helpful chart in the heads).
Coming onto Brown. It's quite literally the Marmite of colours, and that holds true on the boat. Our skin has turned a fine shade of brown, the men on board look like school boys, with grazed brown knees. It is a signal of how much our bodies have changed and adapted. Gareth is now onto his fifth new hole in his belt, and everyone's arms are looking strong and lean. Catherine Foster has pointed out that her normally rock hard legs, inherited from her record breaking father are getting soft, an opinion I concur with - my skier's legs of steel are also turning into a softer metal. Bizarrely, a trip to the gym in Punta might be required, like astronauts returning to planet Earth. Unfortunately our biggest and constant reminder of the colour brown in the Bristol stool chart which sits next to the aforementioned urine chart.
I know white and black are not colours, but I am partial to a bit of the white stuff, although we are a long way from any snow. White for us means our sails and the white horses of the waves. Black is the colour of night, lit up by the stars and a moon that will have gone through a full cycle before we reach Uruguay. When the moon was at its fullest in the Doldrums, it lit up the night with a harsh blue light.
Which brings us back to blue and one final question. Why is the sea blue? Gareth reckons it is because it is reflecting the sky, but when I then asked why the sky was blue, his answer – because it is reflecting the sea. Answers on a postcard please - CV30 somewhere in the Atlantic ocean.
Graham (blue-eyes) Bell