‘The Voice of the Dolphins’ – A Quietly Profound Story

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The Voice of the Dolphins is an inspiring memoir by filmmaker Hardy Jones.  Unlike some books in the ocean/dolphin genre, The Voice of the Dolphins has a more universal message – it is the story of a man whose life so parallels his passion that he seems to exist in the matrix between the modern world and the ocean realm.  In some ways it reminds me of the tales that permeate Northwest Native American culture, tales of humans and the ocean that go back to a time when people both understood the need to live in harmony with the ocean dwellers, and created stories to explain our connection to them.
Amazon’s reviewer summarizes it well:

In 1978 filmmaker Hardy Jones was swept into the universe of dolphins. In his work as a filmmaker he came to know many of these magnificent animals as individuals. “I know when I’m with them that I’m relating to creatures as intelligent, social, and imbued with emotion as I am.”
Hardy’s life became even more closely entwined with dolphins when he learned that he and the dolphins share a genetic trait that imperils both his life and the survival of dolphins worldwide.

“Filming became my entrée into the world of dolphins but not my ultimate purpose there. My true aim was to get inside the minds of these enormously intelligent and friendly animals.”… “I became a pioneer in a parallel universe inhabited by highly intelligent, friendly, curious aliens. I came to love them and felt an intense need to protect them.”
…In the late 1980s Hardy became aware of a threat to dolphins even more insidious that the blades of dolphin hunters – rising levels of chemical toxins in the oceans that were impacting marine life and human beings. Over succeeding decades these contaminants have reached crisis level.
In 2003 Hardy was diagnosed with an incurable form of blood cancer that is linked to chemical toxins. “I’ve struggled with the side effects of medications, but my first lab tests after beginning treatment brought stunning results. My burden of monoclonal cells had been reduced by ninety-eight percent.”
The diagnosis spurred Hardy to seek the sources of the pollutants in his own body and to document their impact on marine life and human beings.
Hardy continues treatment and maintains an active life traveling the world to campaign for dolphins, the oceans and the welfare of humanity.

As you read the story of Jones’ life so far, you will come to admire him for his humble style as well as his quiet courage as he faces both the limits of his energy and the challenges of the tasks he set before himself.

Along the way, he made some true connections with the dolphins he loves, and they were there when he needed them, as you can see in this video as a large hammerhead shark gets too close.

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