Oryxx (formally known as Corina IV), is turning her bow towards the arctic as she sets sail from Sint Maarten this summer. With a crew of seven, she will venture through Iceland’s dramatic landscapes, hunt for glaciers in Greenland, explore the mysteries of the Faroe Islands, travel back in time through Scottish highlands, and drink lots of draft Guinness in Ireland.
In 2017, two years after captain Max Loubser and friends completed a circumnavigation with the 52-foot Beneteau, Hurricane Irma set her eye straight for the Caribbean islands. Corina IV’s home was one of the islands most devastated by the hurricane. Even though she was dismasted and badly damaged, Corina IV held on strong through the storm.
Together with his girlfriend Haily Celestin, he decided to completely re-fit her and bring his infamous adventure boat back to life! With a complete re-fit, Corina IV transformed into a new and improved expedition sailboat that Max and Haily renamed, Oryxx. This new name and identity was an ode to his parents’ journey of completely refitting their first boat together in South Africa long before landing in the Caribbean.
Three years later, she is back, better than ever, and ready to explore once again.
Oryxx and her Viking crew are now about to embark on a new adventure to the arctic – in search of glaciers, puffins, polar bears, and the northern lights. Prepared for fog banks and icebergs, Max and crew have kitted out Oryxx with a state of the art radar system, spotlights in case the midnight sun isn’t bright enough, tuk-poles to nudge ice out of the way, and of course, a diesel heater to keep the boat nice and toasty.
In the last week of May, Oryxx’s crew completed their last preparations: hull cleaning, safety checks, figuring out a place to keep extra fuel tanks and heaters, and possibly most entertaining: trying on the survival ‘gumby’ suits – which fit some crew members better than others.
Joining Max and Haily for the crossing to Iceland are Christopher Cilliers, Adam Robb and Cheri Larkin from the USA and Australia. Once in Iceland, more friends will join the crew to sail further up and around – exploring intricate fjords, diving in ice-cold water, spotting polar bears and puffins, and hiking to reach ultimate mountain views.
Max Loubser, Captain: “We’ve been preparing to do this trip for a while, so it’s exciting that we can finally set sail since most places are now opening back up after COVID. I’ve never sailed that far north before, and it has always been a dream of mine to do so. Let’s go see if we can find some polar bears and narwhals!”
Many of the crew are avid photo- and videographers, so some great content is coming your way.
Follow along as Oryxx and her Caribbean crew bundle up and set sail to the Arctic on Facebook or Instagram: @readysetsailnow