Into the Planet : My Life as a Cave Diver
by Jill Heinerth


Overview -

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.

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More About Into the Planet by Jill Heinerth
 
 
 
Overview

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.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780062691545
  • ISBN-10: 0062691546
  • Publisher: Ecco Press
  • Publish Date: August 2019
  • Page Count: 288
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Adventurers & Explorers
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
Books > Science > Earth Sciences - Oceanography

 
BookPage Reviews

Into the Planet

“When I describe the act of cave diving to most people, they think I have a death wish,” notes Jill Heinerth, who has spent over 30 years diving all over the world, often into deep, pitch-dark, narrow and, yes, highly dangerous places. She has explored, filmed and photographed remote underwater regions for National Geographic, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other institutions, and she’s not only an outspoken environmental advocate but also the Explorer-in-Residence for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

So it’s hardly a surprise that the journeys she describes in Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver make for exciting, edge-of-your-seat reading. Not only is Heinerth’s memoir thoughtfully structured and adrenaline-filled, but it also offers a fascinating account of exactly how one becomes a renowned, record-setting adventurer.

As a girl growing up in Canada, Heinerth decided she wanted to learn to dive as soon as she saw Jacques Cousteau on TV. That’s despite the fact that one of her earliest memories is of nearly drowning and that she failed her first swimming lesson—because she was, of course, so busy floating and gazing intently at the underwater world that she didn’t bother to attempt any strokes. As a young woman, she sold a successful advertising business in Toronto and bought a ticket to the Cayman Islands in hopes of becoming a diver, shocking family and friends. 

Her wild gamble paid off, and Heinerth has spent the rest of her life “swimming through the veins of Mother Earth,” as she calls it, delighting in the wonders of ice-filled caves beneath Siberia’s Ural Mountains and lava tubes inside a Spanish volcano.

Such wonders and achievements have not come without dramatic, dire sacrifices, particularly as a woman in a testosterone-heavy field. A number of close friends have perished in diving accidents; she has repeatedly helped with the heartbreaking task of body recovery. After she suffered a severe case of the bends, a doctor advised Heinerth to “never dive again,” which she ignored. She narrowly escaped death several times amid the caves and crevices of an Antarctic Circle iceberg, all while suffering a leaky glove in the icy 28--degree waters, just one-tenth of a degree away from the freezing point of salt water. After her narrow escape, she commented, “The cave tried to keep us today.” Hours later, as she and her team were preparing to dive yet again, they watched the iceberg completely collapse, which would have meant certain death had they been in the water. 

There’s never a dull moment in Into the Planet, which bursts with full-throttle exuberance for the highs, and sometimes even the lows, of being a pioneering, modern-day explorer. As Heinerth concludes, “When we transcend the fear of failure and terror of the unknown, we are all capable of great things, personally and as a society.”

 
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