Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver

Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver

by Jill Heinerth


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From one of the world’s most renowned cave divers, a firsthand account of exploring the earth’s final frontier: the hidden depths of our oceans and the sunken caves inside our planet

More people have died exploring underwater caves than climbing Mount Everest, and we know more about deep space than we do about the depths of our oceans. From one of the top cave divers working today—and one of the very few women in her field—Into the Planet blends science, adventure, and memoir to bring readers face-to-face with the terror and beauty of earth’s remaining unknowns and the extremes of human capability.

Jill Heinerth—the first person in history to dive deep into an Antarctic iceberg and leader of a team that discovered the ancient watery remains of Mayan civilizations—has descended farther into the inner depths of our planet than any other woman. She takes us into the harrowing split-second decisions that determine whether a diver makes it back to safety, the prejudices that prevent women from pursuing careers underwater, and her endeavor to recover a fallen friend’s body from the confines of a cave. But there’s beauty beyond the danger of diving, and while Heinerth swims beneath our feet in the lifeblood of our planet, she works with biologists discovering new species, physicists tracking climate change, and hydrogeologists examining our finite freshwater reserves.


Written with hair-raising intensity, Into the Planet is the first book to deliver an intimate account of cave diving, transporting readers deep into inner space, where fear must be reconciled and a mission’s success balances between knowing one’s limits and pushing the envelope of human endurance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062691545
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/20/2019
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 36,076
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Jill Heinerth is a cave diver, underwater explorer, writer, photographer, and filmmaker. She has starred on TV series for PBS, National Geographic Channel, and the BBC and has consulted on movies for directors including James Cameron. She splits her time between Florida and Canada.

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Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Chad Guarino 26 days ago
Imagine a grueling, weeks long ship journey from New Zealand through the Roaring Forties, Furious Fifties, and Screaming Sixties, being tossed around like a cork in your bunk as the ship is buffeted by rogue waves and storms on your way to Antarctica. The ship lists dangerously, colleagues are seasick, and you have to cocoon yourself in your bunk just to avoid being thrown from it. Now imagine that this isn't even the most dangerous part of your mission: you still have to dive in the frigid antarctic waters looking for underwater caves in an iceberg. Jill Heinerth has lived through this, and a myriad other life threatening situations in her career as a cave diver. Into the Planet is her memoir of that career, from her decision to leave her desk job through the many dives and expeditions she's been a member of. Heinerth's writing is at its best when she's recalling her dives, which are full of sensory details and danger. Admittedly, my interest flagged a bit during the segments in between, especially those involved with the more "mundane" aspects of life, such as running a dive store or her prior career in advertising. It's obvious she lives for adventure and not the mundane, and this comes through loud and clear in her writing. Heinerth's career choice is a brave one, not only for the risk of death in any given dive, but also given the male dominated nature of diving. She details many troubling instances of sexism and judgment she's handled throughout her diving career, and her evolving ability to handle those situations. While I found it hard to connect with her extremely adventurous nature (a trait she attributes to the "7R Gene", ostensibly a wanderlust gene, albeit one I've never heard of. I'll take her word for it), I admired her perseverance in a field where she's seen so many friends and colleagues perish. This is a worthy memoir for the vicarious thrills, especially for those like myself who will most likely never cave dive. **I was given a copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Harper Collins.**