We've just done a couple of cruises, one to Norway and Iceland, the other to Norway. It was interesting to compare the Irish Sea and the North Sea. We've sailed both several times on previous cruises and the Irish Sea always comes out the winner, probably because you're never far from land on the Irish Sea. I've often found the North Sea a bit hit and miss, sailing from Southampton, although on both cruises this year there was plenty to see on the first day traveling north and the last day sailing south. When it gets really rough and you're furthest from land the Fulmar always saves the day turning up when all other birds have been left far behind- closely followed by the good old Gannet. Sailing through the North Sea on the last cruise I was really puzzled to see some sort of falcon flying above the ship when we were far from land. It looked like it was landing on the top of the ship somewhere and then making brief forays away from the vessel before returning on board. Flummoxed and not having great views, looking through the misted windows of the buffet, the most likely candidate was a juvenile Peregrine Falcon, an unlikely bird to see so far from land.