Ready for an adventure with a purpose? Request info »
  • Search SEA Semester, Summer and High School Programs

Current position of the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the tools, top right, to change the map style or view data layers. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans

October 26, 2019

Reflections on the Last Leg

Renee Chen, C Watch, Wellesley College


Captain Chris and Renee obsessing over the new Star Wars trailer in Suva.

Ship's Log

Temperate, very windy, slightly rocky.

Souls on board

(First and foremost: Happy birthday, Mom! I love and miss you so much!)

Yesterday, while I was sitting in my watch meeting, my assistant scientist said something that really stuck with me. Farley told the group that we were now in a time warp - before we knew it, we would be waking up in Auckland. He assured us that it would be a bittersweet moment, and that there was one thing he wanted us to specifically look out for: "Don't just breeze by," he warned. "Don't just learn a few more lines, a few more sails, and call it a day."

At the time, I disregarded it as a slightly ominous and nonsensical warning. I certainly wasn't breezing by my 6-hour watches, and especially not my 0100-0700 dawn watches. But as I woke up this morning, I was shocked to find out that we are already a quarter of the way through our last voyage to New Zealand. My precious time on the RCS is rapidly slipping through my fingers. Before I know it, I will be at Leigh Marine - moored on land, for once and for all. I will be left without any of the watch officers who I have grown to seriously admire, without the sight and sound of the ocean, and on 11/16, I will lose all the friends that I have come to love so deeply. Though I'm more excited than ever to go home and see my family, I'm growing more and more aware that my time at sea has been the most amazing adventure I have ever been on.

When else could I banter with my friends on the quarterdeck? Step off the gangway into a new South Pacific city every week? Debate the finer points of Star Wars: The Last Jedi with my new captain? Shave my head on a whim? The RCS has transformed me in a way I never would have imagined: someone who laughs at everything, who basks in the unobstructed sun, and who hand-coils rope with (relative) ease. Without my even knowing, I have changed for the better. I could not be more thankful for this wonderful experience, and it is something I will think about for the rest of my journey and beyond.

To all my friends, family, and Josh (I know you're reading this! I love you and I'm alive!) -

Renee Chen, Wellesley College, C-Watch/Cool Watch

Previous entry: 32 Things to Know Before Going to Sea    Next entry: B-J-JWO


Leave a public comment for students and crew to read when they reach their next port and have access to the internet!

#1. Posted by Bo Cao on October 29, 2019

I am really excited to see your blog posted on my Birthday and I am keeping ask Phoebe “Did your sister contact with you?” since I didn’t hear from you for a while, but I do know you have been on a great adventure and will love this journey.

Your 小平头 is So cute, I did once like that when I was young. I am sure when you come back, not only your 小平头will surprise us a lot, also a brand new Renee as well.

God bless you, my dear daughter.

Love, Mom

#2. Posted by Linda Janda on October 30, 2019

Oh Renee!  You’ll never lose these friends…. but share a forever bond through your incredible experience together! You have memories, pictures,
email, phone, ( dare I say) snail mail to keep you all connected. Surely it won’t be quite the same, but with some effort nobody has to say goodbye. “Sea” you later with a hug and a wink!

#3. Posted by Joseph Chen on October 30, 2019

Very exciting information. Really proud of you, you are a truly brave sailor and scholar.

#4. Posted by Phoebe Chen on October 30, 2019

Hey Renee! Love the article! Great to hear that you are having a good time and making so many new friends. It is wonderful that you get this opportunity to travel abroad and learn new things in the meantime. I can’t wait for you to come home and tell me more about it! Miss you - P



Add a comment:

Notify me of follow-­up comments?

I would like SEA to keep me informed about news and opportunities.