Taking you to places no one has ever gone before, and blending memoir, adventure, and science, Into the Planet is a riveting account of one of the most dangerous yet exhilarating pursuits in the world: diving to the centre of the earth.
"If I die, it will be in the most glorious place that nobody has ever seen."
As one of the most celebrated cave divers in the world, Jill Heinerth has seen the planet in a way almost no one has. In a workday, she might swim below your home, through conduits in volcanoes or cracks in the world's largest iceberg. She's an explorer, a scientist's eyes and hands underwater—discovering new species and examining our finite freshwater reserves—and a filmmaker documenting the wonders of underwater life. Often the lone woman in a male-dominated domain, she tests the limits of human endurance at every tight turn, risking her life with each mission. To not only survive in this world but excel, Jill has had to learn how to master self-doubt like no other.
With gripping storytelling that radiates intimacy, Into the Planet will transport you deep into the most exquisite, untouched corners of the earth, where fear must be reconciled and the innermost parts of the human condition are revealed.
About the author
JILL HEINERTH is a Canadian cave diver, underwater explorer, writer, photographer and filmmaker. More people have walked on the moon than have been to some of the places Jill has explored on earth. She has made TV series for the CBC, the National Geographic channel, and the BBC, consulted on movies, including for director James Cameron, and produced documentaries, including We Are Water and Ben's Vortex. Jill's accolades include induction into The Explorers Club and the inaugural class of the Women Divers Hall of Fame. She is also the inaugural Explorer-in-Residence for The Royal Canadian Geographic Society, and the recipient of Canada's prestigious Polar Medal and the diving world's highest award from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences.
"Into the Planet is a breathtaking thrill-ride into a deeper world that exists within this one. Few people have witnessed the sublime beauty of labyrinthine underwater caves or the inside of an iceberg—to venture in for even a glimpse is to put your life at risk—but Jill Heinerth knows these realms intimately. She is the ultimate guide, and her courage and heart are as evident in her writing as they are in her groundbreaking explorations. Clear your schedule if you pick up this book, because you will not be able to put it down." —Susan Casey, author of The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean
"Into the Planet offers a very complete, nuanced look at cave diving and everything it entails. . . . The opening pages are full of tension, adventure and survival. They set the tone perfectly for what is a superb, honest, incredibly engaging book. . . . A captivating biography and a love letter to a sport where any small mistake can result in death—and any perfect dive can mean an amazing discovery."—NPR
"Heinerth is very good at making you understand both the otherworldly euphoria and claustrophobic horror of cave diving. She's a solid writer, as adept at rendering the decor of her grubby student apartment in Toronto ('a Pink Floyd poster almost covered the water stain that ran down the sloped ceiling to the pile of cayenne pepper on the windowsill') as she is at describing what it's like to be trapped in a current inside an Antarctic iceberg 130 feet below the surface." —The Wall Street Journal
"One sentence into the phenomenal life story of Jill Heinerth and you'll be hooked. Be prepared for a wild, wonderful and deeply inspiring journey into places few people get to know, let alone experience. Into the Planet is a beautifully crafted memoir that inspires us all to defy limits imposed, connect us to this precious planet, and follow our passions in life." —Clara Hughes, six-time Olympic medalist and author of Open Heart, Open Mind
"I can guarantee you one thing: Jill Heinerth will not look back on her life with any regrets about a lack of bravery or passion. In this gripping, life-of-gusto story, we plunge into Heinerth's eccentric world of death-defying caves, and into her inner sanctum forged by the thrill of discovery. I read wide-eyed, page after page." —Diana Nyad, long-distance swimmer and author of Find a Way
"Into the Planet offers a very complete, nuanced look at cave diving and everything it entails. . . . The opening pages are full of tension, adventure and survival. They set the tone perfectly for what is a superb, honest, incredibly engaging book. . . . The writing in Into the Planet is immersive—Heinerth walks a fine line between chronicling the stunning beauty of some of the most exotic locales in the world and the somber realities of her work. . . . A captivating biography and a love letter to a sport where any small mistake can result in death—and any perfect dive can mean an amazing discovery." —NPR
"Underwater explorer and documentary filmmaker Heinerth vividly depicts the extraordinary aquatic vistas she's discovered in this immersive memoir. . . . Throughout, Heinerth powerfully recreates the exhilaration of staking out 'the longest underwater cave system in the world,' in the Yucatan, and living with the fear of equipment malfunctions and the constant threat of death. Heinerth's well-paced, informative memoir provides a thrill ride into unfamiliar worlds." —Publishers Weekly
"Enchanting. . . . An exhilarating, deeply personal memoir. . . . Told with sensitivity and joyful enthusiasm, this is an inspiring story that will appeal to many." —Kirkus Reviews
"Jill Heinerth's lifelong passion to explore the most hidden recesses of our planet has driven her to boldly go where—quite literally—no one had gone before. She takes us along on her awe-inspiring journey, revealing the oceans of opportunity that exist right beneath our very feet, if we are willing to push the limits of conventional knowledge, and explore what most will never see." —Richie Kohler, shipwreck explorer, author and filmmaker
"[Into the Planet] chronicles, in chiseled prose, a lifetime pursuing science and discovery in exploration's most lethal and least forgiving discipline. Time and again, Heinerth has ventured into realms where mishaps can, quite literally, take your breath away. Just reading about her exploits can do the same—happily with less final results." —James M. Tabor, award-winning author of Blind Descent and Forever on the Mountain
"Jill Heinerth's lifelong passion to explore the most hidden recesses of our planet has driven her to boldly go where—quite literally—no one had gone before. She takes us along on her awe-inspiring journey, revealing the oceans of opportunity that exist right beneath our very feet, if we are willing to push the limits of conventional knowledge, and explore what most will never see." —"Shadow Diver" Richie Kohler, shipwreck explorer, author and filmmaker
"Cave divers are another breed, which I never truly understood; that was until I met Jill Heinerth on a cave diving trip off Santa Cruz Island and had a chance to read her new book Into the Planet, which helped to explain it all! A Must Read." —Dr. Robert D. Ballard, discoverer of the RMS TITANIC
"A compelling story of an adventurous, bold life yielding rewards of love, discovery and personal growth." —Bernie Chowdhury, author of The Last Dive
"By turns terrifying, exhilarating and inspirational, Into the Planet celebrates the fine madness of deep-sea cave-diving. Talk about extreme adventure. If you don't know the name Jill Heinerth, prepare to be dazzled and astonished. Move over, Jon Krakauer. This well-written memoir is destined to become a world classic of exploration literature." —Ken McGoogan, author of Fatal Passage and Flight of the Highlanders
"Into the Planet by Jill Heinerth takes us into the risk laden, invisible world beneath our feet. Her journey from the office to the far reaches of the planet reveals how the physical difficulties often pale in comparison to the personal challenges related to maintaining relationships, overcoming gender bias, and honestly assessing one's own tolerance of danger." —Kenny Broad, PhD, University of Miami and National Geographic Explorer
"Into the Planet, may be [Jill Heinerth's] greatest work yet, and possibly her most inspiring, informative and thrilling. Blending memoir, adventure and science, Into the Planet is a riveting account of Jill's journey. Or at least part of it. A life like Jill's can't be squeezed into one book, and one thing you'll take away after reading Into the Planet, is a thirst to read more." —Diver magazine
"This must-read memoir looks back at an amazing career and provides insight into parts of the world that few of us will ever see in person." —EcoWatch
"Written in cinematic detail, Into the Planet is a thrilling portrait of bravery, innovation and the extreme limits of human capability." —Earther
"An eye-opening, edge-of-the-seat, thrill of a read that's destined to become a trail-blazing classic of diving literature. . . . Into the Planet is a riveting read; one that's filled with triumph and tragedy and one that offers a small insight into one of modern diving's most remarkable, revered and best-loved characters. Many of us, at one time or another, have picked up a book that's impossible to put down until it's been read from cover to cover. Such books are rare. Rarer still are those that—because of their wow factor—require the reader to take regular breaks so that they can catch their breath while the pulse rate returns to normal. . . . Into the Planet is one that ticks all of the boxes in that latter category." —Nektonix
"A thrilling insight into places that Heinerth has dived, many of which defy the imagination. . . . Gripping." —DeeperBlue
"If there's anybody you should be listening to about scuba diving then it is Jill Heinerth. . . . A deeply serene and moving piece of work, [Into the Planet] blends science and memoir to provide you with an unforgettable account of the world less explored." —The Telegraph (India)