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I’d love you to join me on this magical flight through life. I’ll be sharing recommendations, snippets of wisdom and bits of work along the way.

Do you have an affinity with a particular animal or species? For my friends Rob & Helen Bee, naturally, it’s bees! Smiles all round when I voiced an explainer animation for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Me? I can’t honestly remember when my fascination with whales & dolphins began, but I do remember seeing those beautiful creatures in the wild for the first time. In fact, every time. That’s just one of the reasons why giving a voice to Whale and Dolphin Conservation felt like the right thing to do. WDC is the leading global charity dedicated to protecting the lives of whales & dolphins. It works tirelessly to end captivity, stop whaling, prevent the deaths of whales and dolphins in nets and to create a healthy environment for them in oceans around the world.

Giving a Voice to Whales & Dolphins - humpback breaching by Todd Cravens for Unsplash

An elusive Dolphin

Decades ago, we went to Ireland for a road-trip. We ended up in a beautiful little place called Dingle. Rumour had it, there was a dolphin called Fungi who sometimes made an appearance, but he was a bit elusive. You might think I’m crazy, but I tuned in to the sea and to those beautiful dolphin vibes. And guess what? Yes! He appeared, right in front of our eyes in the bay! A truly magical moment and a taste of what was to come.

A Whale of a Time

Whale & Dolphin Conservation - Sara Starling voice over whale watching in Canada

In 1994, I flew out to Vancouver to join the man who was to become my husband. We were both working at the BBC at the time & he’d been working on the Commonwealth Games in Victoria. He was a Studio Manager (sound engineer). I was desperate to see whales, so we hopped over to Vancouver Island, donned buoyancy suits and took off at top speed in a little dinghy, with a small group of others.

The silence, the sheer size and grace of those magnificent orcas was a sight to behold. So much so that we went twice. Of course, I also remember the second, the third, and the fourth time I saw whales: Fin, Grey, Humpback. Every single time I’m blown away. Just one of the reasons why this voice over chose to partner with Whale and Dolphin Conservation – WDC, the leading charity dedicated to the protection of whales & dolphins.

An Ocean of Perspective

We humans get so caught up in our day-to-day lives, it can be really therapeutic to feel insignificant. You can do it by staring at the moon, watching dogs playing, or seeing a gigantic whale breaching right in front of your eyes. It’s brilliant for stress, and helps keeps us humans in our place, too.

I’ve been lucky enough to see whales off the coast of Canada, America and Hawaii and I can still see them in my mind’s eye. These incredible beasts live in another world of unfamiliar sights & sounds, deep beneath the ocean. Whale song has to be one of the most hauntingly beautiful sounds on our planet, and boy can it travel! Researchers estimate that some of the lowest frequency sounds can travel as far as 10,000 miles through the ocean without losing their energy. If that doesn’t knock your socks off, I don’t know what will!

Conservation Matters

We’re still learning about whales and dolphins, and about the ways in which we’re making their lives more difficult, too. But we do know that we have a duty to look after our world, and that conservation and sustainability matters. As the ocean covers 70% of the earth’s surface & stores more carbon than forests, it’s vital that we help to protect it & everything that inhabits its depths. So, I decided to take action and unite two passions.

Giving a Voice to WDC

It’s easy to drop a few pennies into a tin, or send dosh through the ether. But instead of donating money, I figured I might be of more use to our oceans and those magnificent beasts, if I leant the Whale & Dolphin Conservation organisation, or WDC my voice. So, I’ve partnered with them.  A couple of months ago they asked if I could recommend some animation companies, which of course, I could, I work with lots of animation companies.  I was delighted when a few weeks later, they sent me a script for this powerful film & told me that Kilogramme, a Manchester company I know, love, respect & had indeed recommended, had been brought on board to create this beautiful piece. Needless to say, it was an absolute joy to work with Claire, Jon & the team.

Whale & dolphin conservation - Orca-Canada
WDC logo

The film is narrated from the point of view of Lulu, one of a community of Orcas that lived on the West coast of Scotland. It’s designed to wake people up to the problems caused by chemical pollution and prompt positive action.

In a West Coast of Scotland Accent

Because it’s narrated from the perspective of Lulu, Sally from WDC asked if I could do a Scottish accent. Not just a Scottish accent, but a West Coast Scottish accent. In times past, I might have said no, but over the last few years, I’ve learnt that I have a frustrating tendency to underestimate myself (isn’t that troll in our heads a knob?!). So, I said I’d have a play. And with a bit of help from a brilliant friend who’s from that part of the world, I dived into the voice over booth, recorded the script & sent the audio file. The WDC asked Charlie, their Adopt a Dolphin Field Officer “who is very, very Scottish” to listen. Boy, was I was relieved to hear that he gave “his thorough approval”!

I’m so glad I’ve been able to give these orcas a voice and I really hope that this powerful film will make a difference.

Animals have the power to unite us, to make us better humans. Do you know, a lovely human from across the pond saw a post of mine about whales on LinkedIn. He messaged me & sent me a painting he’d done of a humpback on a piece of driftwood. Possibly one of the very same whales we’d seen off the coast of Cape Cod. How lovely is that?! Human connection is what my work is all about. Evoking a thought, a feeling, an action. And when that connection is felt, it’s a beautiful thing.

Why not listen to my demos, work with me, connect? Or sign up to my newsletter for more tales of life, work & this crazy thing we call life, I’d be delighted to have your company! Meantime, thanks for reading & I’ll be back with more, soon.

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