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A Girls Touch

A copy of The ‘Taming of the Shrew’ sits on the dining table of the MV Quest 1. Tyler, the baby of the trip at 16, is studying the Shakespearean text at distance school and has brought a copy to Indonesia with her. She reads of Peruchio taming his “shrew”, Katherina. The book’s presence on a boat full of females in wild and briny Indonesia is not without irony. The Narrative of Bill Spear’s patriarchal farce is very much at odds with what is going down here. This is not Verona and this is not 1590 and these girls are no shrews.

The girls find girl surf. The girls find big surf. They find waves that would force Peruchio to change his pantaloons, presto. None of the girls have surfed Teahupoo, but figure the lefthander Skipper Bert has sent them out into might be in a similar league.

Bert is the Charlie to these Angles. “I screamed like a little bitch,” says Tyler of almost being cleaned up by a rogue set. “She did,” confirms Steph, nodding. “She screamed like a little bitch.” But there are no thoughts of padding back to the boat, there are only thoughts of pulling in and coming out and hoping like hell your bikini top has survived the shockwave.

“I’m in Indo for the rest of the month,” the out-of-office replies read, “and you won’t hear from me until I get back.” Perfect. – Tyler Wright

The girls are happy to play up their girliness. There is plenty of smudged Jack Sparrow make up. There are the clichéd travel mag poses halfway up inclined coconut palms, followed soon after by the graceless dismount with the local kids in hysterics. There’s mermaidian frolicking and goofy underwater ballet. The water here is so blue and clear that 50 feet of it looks like six, and freedive to the ocean floor is like padding to the horizon.

Right now the girls are the Queens of unseen. Sitting on the bough of the Quest, The girls look west. They’re dinning on the cheeks of a coral trout, drinking palm civet coffee and reciting Shakespeare as a molten sunset battles a tumbleweed storm cloud.

Tyler sums up the vista as Shakespeare might: “Amazingness.”