Book Review: Into the Planet by Jill Heinerth
By Denise Pietsch
Jill Heinerth made history being the first-ever diver under an Antarctic iceberg. She also happens to be an amazing story-teller.
If you’re looking for an inspiring, riveting, and fast-paced book about what it means to be a cave diver, look no further than Into the Planet. In her memoir, Jill Heinerth blends her personal history, and the histories and heroes of cave diving, to bring you an at times hair-raising, adrenaline-inducing story that will keep you hooked until the last page.
More people have walked on than moon than have explored some of locations Jill Heinerth has been brave enough to dive. Heinerth concisely navigates both the technical parts of cave diving and the philosophical aspects of fear-management. I found myself at once enthralled by the miraculous facts of Heinerth’s diving and simultaneously certain that I’d never want to do that myself. Whether you’re brave for the caves, or just enjoy colorful coral reefs, this memoir will certainly spark one’s adventurous spirit.
Twins © 2022 Jill Heinerth
Cave diving was not Jill’s first foray with fear. She recounts a terrifying childhood experience that would go on to help Jill develop a relationship with fear, and inform much of how she tackled her cave diving experiences. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from Into the Planet is not that we should be fearless, it’s that we should respect our fear and let it guide our explorations safely.
Tackling issues of sexism and imposter syndrome, Heinerth provides deep insights on what it means to be a female at the forefront of a male-dominated industry. She describes how working closely with people you care for deeply can create complications, especially in the face of life and death survival experiences.
"I've been using Ikelite strobes for over 30 years now and they have been an important part of capturing images on my expeditions around the world. The durability and reliability of Ikelite products are second to none and I always appreciate supporting North American manufacturers that offer such excellent products" - Jill Heinerth
Jill’s adventurous spirit is paralleled only by her work ethic and drive. She’s collaborated with folks from small dive shops, the inventors of the rebreather, and National Geographic, tallying innumerable awards and honors along the way. It’s her zest for knowing the currently-unknowable and leading a life of meaning that has made her so successful. Jill notes, “I recognized how important it was that I pursued things that fulfilled me.”
Experienced divers will appreciate the many famous names and histories sprinkled throughout the book (along with technical and mechanical diving details). Non-divers or newbie-divers will appreciate this memoir as a chance to celebrate adventure, passion, and what it means to be a human traversing the sometimes-heavy currents of life, love, and fear, underwater and otherwise.
Jill Heinerth's book Into the Planet is available on her website, Amazon, and many major book retailers. Check out her Instagram @jillheinerth to stay up to date with her many continuous adventures.
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Denise Pietsch (pronounced “Peach”) currently manages Ikelite’s Photo School and social media presence. Denise hails from New Jersey, where she obtained a degree in Dance Therapy. After years teaching dance she migrated into the corporate world and eventually came around to Ikelite via the natural career path of fruit distribution and early childhood development. In the end, her lifelong love of photography and octopuses combined into the work she does now. In addition to sharing her energy and enthusiasm with the underwater community she also manages social media for her dog, Joe, collects vinyl records, and enjoys creating memories with her friends and family.