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Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  2,506 ratings  ·  394 reviews
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 workin
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 20th 2019 by Ecco
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Tracy It's kind of hard to read about her life and not wonder how it affects her relationships, so she answers the obvious questions, but it's most definite…moreIt's kind of hard to read about her life and not wonder how it affects her relationships, so she answers the obvious questions, but it's most definitely not the focus of the book. I found her explorations and adventures downright thrilling, and much about the planet and water very educational.(less)
Jennifer Oakley Cave diving is risky. As far as I know, the biggest risk is getting lost and not being able to get to an exit before you run out of air. I'm a scuba d…moreCave diving is risky. As far as I know, the biggest risk is getting lost and not being able to get to an exit before you run out of air. I'm a scuba diver, and I consider cave diving to be too risky for me. That said, I have done guided cavern dives (meaning that you are always near an exit), and they are absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. Hands down some of the most amazing dives I've ever done.(less)

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Four years ago when I was diving in Derawan, East Kalimantan , I asked the dive shop to bring me to a site called Blue Light. However, I was rejected since it is a cave and I did not have a cave diving (specialty) certification. That was the first time I paid specific attention about cave diving, which still has not been a common practice in Indonesia (yet).

After reading this book, I became even more discouraged. Silt and hard enclosed environment are not my jam at all. I'll stick with the clear
Aug 26, 2019 added it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2021
Heard a super interesting interview with her on NPR, now I'm curious to read this! ...more
When we transcend the fear of failure and terror of the unknown, we are all capable of great things, personally and as a society. We might not always know where the journey will lead us. We might feel a burden of difficulty, but all paths lead to discovery. Both good and bad life events contribute to the fabric of who we are as individuals and as a civilization. If we continue to trek purposefully toward our dreams, into the planet and beyond, we just might achieve the impossible.

Jill Heine
"I will take you on an uncomfortable rendezvous with fear. You will feel cold and claustrophobic when you read this book. But I challenge you to recognize the humanity in that sensation of terror you're experiencing. I encourage you to accept that you are an explorer like me."

Before reading Into the Planet, I knew very little about cave diving. As an avid Nat Geo reader, I have seen some incredible photos taken in remote caves, but I had absolutely no idea of the technique, training, and skill
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir, nature
I expected much more. This is mostly about Heinerth's experiences on other people's cave diving expeditions, especially Bill Stone's projects. Bill Stone has an excellent book himself, "Beyond the Deep: Deadly Descent into the World's Most Treacherous Cave," so I don't see a reason for reading this one.

Beyond that, the writing is very average. There is way too much information about her relationships. I didn't expect to be reading about her frustrations with online dating, and swiping right or
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jill Heinerth is the Chris Traeger of diving. “It’ll be fun! Well, it’s more grueling than fun.” She’s made a career out of diving into the most dangerous caves in the world despite pain and injuries, ingrained misogyny on the part of her fellow divers (nearly all men), and of course the mammoth level of risk inherent in cave diving in the first place. Heinerth is a great spinner of yarns, and she had me on the edge of my seat more than once as she related near misses and brushes with death. If ...more
Danika at The Lesbrary
A fascinating look into the world of cave diving. She is also a woman working in a male-dominated field, so a lot of the book looks at how she deals with the sexism she faces. Suspenseful (she dives into icebergs and with polar bears and in claustrophobic uncharted spaces!) and thoughtful. I definitely recommend it.
Here’s a book by a woman who chose to lead a life of a real explorer - something I truly admire. In this memoir she offers a number of fascinating and dramatic tales of adventure, discovery, triumph, and loss. I was glued to its pages, and I learned a lot about the world of diving, following one’s passion, and overcoming fear, no matter which profession or relationship you might find yourself in.
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Freakin' awesome, in the literally, awe sense of the word. I had no idea there was this extreme subspecialty of cavers. Well written, well told. ...more
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
I found this rather boring.
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
When my husband was stationed in Hawaii, long before we were married, his main hobby was to go scuba diving. He and his friends would get off work, grab their gear, and enjoy the gorgeous underwater scenery. While I myself have never dived, his stories made some of the terminology in the book familiar, and I loved reading a book about one of his favorite interests.

When one thinks of diving, one probably thinks of doing so in the sea, especially in the tropical areas, where the seas are clear tu
Wes Metz
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are people who are obsessed with activities that are outrageously (I am tempted to say "insanely") dangerous. I've watched a man free-climb El Capitan. I've seen wing-suited daredevils skim inches from the ground at 120 miles an hour. I've read about divers searching for artifacts at ocean depths where nitrogen narcosis and the bends are constant threats. None of them take greater risks than author Jill Heinerth. She dives in caves, the most unforgiving environment on earth. Equipment fail ...more
Picked this up because I’ve always been curious about those who explore the flooded cave systems in Florida. I remember visiting Wakulla Springs, staring through crystal water into the dark void from which the spring flowed (when I was finally comfortable enough to take my eye off the gator sunning itself on the opposite shore).

I remember the picture of the sign at the underwater cave’s entrance: a grim reaper over two divers’ skeletons with the message, ‘STOP: GO NO FARTHER’

Into the Planet is t
Sep 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Jill Heinerth is an exceptional diver who has pushed to make a place for women in a what is often a macho, elitist sport. She periodically shows that she’s adopted that elitism as a personal value, for example, claiming her experiences of Antarctica are superior, “There is simply no comparison between a carefully managed tourist experience and the real threats and discomfort we endured on our crossing,” where an egalitarian person would have chosen to embrace shared experiences and values. Or, i ...more
Oct 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Kept hoping the writing would get better... but it didn't. The cave diving and adventure element was amazing, but unfortunately not enough to push this one into a "recommended" category. ...more
Nicole R
I love diving. I do not do it as often as I would like, and some of that is because I am picky (some may say spoiled) about when and where I dive. I want warm waters, endless visibility, and bright sunshine overhead.

Despite this, my interest in at least reading/learning about cave diving was piqued by one very specific experience. I used to travel to--and eventually lived on--Andros Island in the Bahamas. My early trips I spent bunking up at Forfar Field Station, named for a famous diver who di
Katie - Girl About Library
Thank you to the publisher and author for allowing me to read this book prior to publication in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 stars, rounding to 4 because GRs doesn’t believe in the power of half stars- full review to come!
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 rounding up. This book was fascinating, but unsettling, I had a gambit of emotions. I found the author off putting, but her accomplishments astounding. Loved the photos, always entranced at others bravery, but something about her didn't sit well with me. Despite my negative edge, well worth reading, to see how the wild ones live and thrive. ...more
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
The author Jill Heinerth is an expert cave diver, writer, photographer and filmmaker and has worked for National Geographic, PBS, and the BBC. I can't imagine anybody wanting to dive in underwater caves or into icebergs in Antarctica but this is what she did. It is a fascinating account of the most dangerous sport in the world but it was more to her than a sport, it was her life. Amazing book. ...more
Heinerth is an amazing person, a modern-day explorer of some of the most dangerous environments in the planet. From remote Mexican jungles to the insides of icebergs in the Antarctic, she has dived through some truly terrifying and amazing conditions—and lived to tell the tale. I really enjoyed her humility, her good cheer, her grit, and her low-key frankness about the toxic masculinity culture that endangers lives and robs joy from doing this dangerous, demanding work. She’s great company and s ...more
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
It took me a while, but I finally finished it, and it was worth it. Nonfiction always takes longer for me which is why I switched to the audiobook (read by the author) and that was a great move. It was absolutely fascinating and the fact that it was read by the author made it that much more moving. She took me on quite the journey from the super exciting and honestly terrifying moments of her exploring claustrophobic caves and almost dying several times to her describing the pain of losing so ma ...more
Dmitry Khvatov
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book claimed it would make me feel claustrophobic, but it failed to do so. I enjoyed some parts of it though.
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The thought of cave diving terrifies me to no end but I enjoyed experiencing the wonder of it safely from my spot on the couch. There were some heart-pounding moments described in this book. I think what I admired the most about the author’s story is that she chased a dream and did what felt right, despite opposition and setbacks, and she embarked on a new career in her late twenties. It was a fascinating memoir, and here’s to all the explorers who are willing to push boundaries to make new disc ...more
Doriana Bisegna
Oct 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I attended Jill Heinerth's presentation of her work and life. Her talk was mesmerizing and so I bought the book. In order to truly appreciate the depths that she goes to (excuse the pun) to describe her life as a cave diver, you really need to see the visuals. That's where the book didn't satisfy my curiosity. It's fine to read about her explorations and discoveries but could one imagine what the moon looked like has we not seen the footage of their voyage? It's kind of the same thing with this ...more
In the past couple of weeks, I listened to two books on my commute: Annihilation, about a woman who explores an alien part of our planet, mostly in isolation, and Into the Planet, about a woman who explores alien parts of our planet, mostly in isolation. Into the Planet was much, much scarier.

I have trouble imagining anything more terrifying than cave diving. Space exploration, maybe, but even that seems to have a better safety record. Part of the thrill of this book is getting to vicariously ex
I enjoyed this one for the most part, but there were sections that just left me flat. Also, I thought it was a little weird how much detail she went into with her first relationship/husband and almost included her second/current "Love of her Life" as an after thought. Not a job I could ever do. This one left me claustrophobic just reading it, much less actually doing these things.

Um, no thank you.
Michelle Taylor
I won this book with Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

This book took me way longer than it should have to read. I originally wanted to read this book because it sounded interesting. It turns out it wasn't as interesting as I hoped. While reading about the amazing places Jill has dived was great, her description of all her equipment all the time was not my cup of tea.
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Heinerth's memoir of her life as a cave diver rocks. Though I always love an adventurer/explorer books, the vulnerability Heinerth shows repeatedly throughout made it engaging. Her career and life's work are remarkable of their own accord, but her talents as a writer, in crafting and shaping her own personal narrative, kept me reading. ...more
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A pioneering underwater explorer, Jill Heinerth has dived deeper into caves than any woman in history. Selected for the inaugural class of the Women Divers Hall of Fame, her recent awards include the Wyland Icon and Scuba Diving Magazine’s Sea Hero of the Year.

Recognizing a lifetime of contributions to advancing underwater exploration, in 2013, Heinerth was presented with the Sir Christopher Onda

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