I am feeling a little Blue
I have recently returned from a cruise to the Pacific Islands and haven’t lost my sea-legs yet. The taste the Mojitos and Pina Coladas still lingers on my lips. It was while I was sipping one of those delicious cocktails and enjoying the spectacular ocean view from my deck chair that my daughter suddenly asked”Mum, Why is the sky blue? ”
Out at sea, on a warm sunny day, all around as far as the eye can see the ocean stretches out in the most beautiful colour of French Ultramarine Blue. Exactly the same colour as the pigment in my artist quality paint tubes.
It is a warm and comforting blue with only the slightest hint of red if you look carefully. Soft velvet comes to mind. The sky above is a cooler blue but with no Cerulean or hints of yellow, I call it Azure.It is the ocean that is reflecting its aqua-blues up into the vast atmosphere. The expanse and majesty of the ocean are humbling. You realise that this is why ours is called the ‘Blue Planet’.
Little fluffy white clouds form on the horizon, their bellies tinged a soft Mauve are full with the promise of a shower in the afternoon. The traces of Ultramarine Blue reflected into them are plain to see. With the setting sun and the light slowly fading the blue of the ocean gradually deepens into Navy Blue. Yes, the same colour that sailors sport on their uniforms. There is no boring, dull grey here.
Deep Blue Sea
Standing on deck, looking out to sea on a moonlit evening and only a few stars twinkling above, the ocean blinks another colour. In the absence of bright sunlight, the waves have absorbed all the colour except the purest shade of Prussian Blue but if you shine a torch into the deep, the Ultramarine is undeniably there. In the moonlight, the sea most definitely does not take on a deathly black hue. On a cloudy night, she might don a gown of Paynes Grey – but the blue will still be there. On occasion and only in the absence of all light will she wear a coat of the darkest Sable.
The ocean is alive; I guess never, does she have a moment of complete stillness, the ocean is a woman. It is inspiring to sit and watch her; she is restless, changes her mind from minute to minute and has many moods. Blue is her favourite colour. Approaching the tropics early in the morning, with the sun already blazing in a cloudless sky we are nearing the islands and entering shallow water. The sea is changing her dress into a stunning Cobalt number but only briefly before she decides on frivolous Turquoise and then tints it with lacy whitecaps all the way to shore. Here the sea water lapping gently at the soft sand is the lightest shade of Turquoise or Aquamarine it seems almost milky. Sea, Sand and Sky
The sand underneath the waves is snow-white, and the water is crisp and clear. It is the atmosphere that is being reflected in the shallow water. The islands abound with lush green forests, yes Smaragdine or Emerald Green does come to mind. Here we find Cerulean Blue in the sky and traces of Lemon Yellow. There is smoke tainting the blue here and there. In the aftermath of Cyclone, Pam villagers have been burning debris to keep the mosquito numbers down.
Glowing Colours of a Sunset
Homeward bound, and we set sail into the sunset. The sky shows off a spectacular palette that would excite any artist. Cadmium Red, Coral and Magenta surround the bright sinking Cadmium Yellow, tinged with a touch of red Cinnabar sun .’The Blues’ make me happy, and I love our Blue Planet.
So why is the sky blue, anyone?