He's known as a colourful navigator (4)
I believe the answer is:
'he's' is the definition.
(I've seen this before)
I cannot understand how the rest of the clue works.
Can you help me to learn more?
(Other definitions for eric that I've seen before include "-- Idle; -- Morecambe" , "Blair, perhaps" , "One of pair once popular" , "Rice turned for the boy" , "..... the Red was Norwegian 10th Century exployer" .)