Of course, there was more to see at sea as just the Northern Gannets. We saw quite a few Razorbills swimming and flying around (some even more or less following the ship) and some Common Guillemots/Murres. These birds are the northern equivalent of the southern penguins, with the main difference that these birds still can fly. They have to, as there are a lot more land predators in the north as there are in the south. But they, just like their penguin counterparts in the south, seem much more at ease in the water.
As we started our trip in IJmuiden, most of the day we could clearly see where we started (and would end) our journey. With birdwatchers, IJmuiden is most famous for its three-kilometre long pier that sticks out into the ocean, a well-known spot to watch sea birds from land. However, most people will think of the steel production plants of Hoogovens (now officially Tata Steel Europe). Its smoke plumes could be seen from a long distance at sea.