With the light declining and midges nipping on our extremities, we gather shyly, a motley group on the shores of Lough Hyne, West Cork. Declan, our leader with Atlantic Sea Kayaking, breaks the ice. As it happens, he isn’t even slightly nonplussed when a young woman in a tracksuit with giveaway shamrock and Olympic rings blushes. Her college pals point her way. Not to worry. We are all novices at night kayaking, and listen politely to the safety drill as our eyes adjust to the descending gloom. We are kitted out in waterproof suits and rubber skirts like Jules Verne aliens all ready for the trip. Another piece of gentle advice from Declan: Digital devices, whether phone, GoPro or camera, can be left safely on the shore. This is a nature reserve, but I suspect that may be just a brilliant excuse to preserve the zen of the trip. This one is what your memory is for, and for storytellers to talk of afterwards; for selfies of the soul. The lake is lignite dark and still; showing only slight shimmers of ripples. A slightly cloudy night sky is overhead, and, to our surprise, we’re told that these are perfect conditions to see what many have come for; the luminous phosphores...