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May 2020    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 35, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Into the Planet — My Life as a Cave Diver

from the May, 2020 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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

When meeting Canadian Jill Heinerth, one is struck by what a thoroughly decent person she is -- the sort of person anyone would be pleased to have as a sister. She's so wholesome. In times of lockdown, I bet she makes great cookies.

For those who know her outside of the world of diving, it must come as something of a surprise to discover what activities she partakes in -- because she is one of the world's leading cave divers.

And unlike some cave divers, who often tend to be introverted, she likes to share her life by traveling the globe, making presentations, showing her underwater photos, and revealing what she gets up to when she's in her favorite environment.

More people have died exploring underwater caves than climbing Mount Everest. But that doesn't stop her. One of few women in what otherwise might be described as a man's preserve, she's explored the underground secrets of Wakulla Springs State Park, conduits within volcanoes, and cracks in the world's largest icebergs. Her autobiographical book, Into the Planet -- My Life as a Cave Diver, tells all, sometimes in such detail that it's hair-raising.

Referring to the relationship with her husband, she wrote, "Regardless of the assurances I give him when he sees one after another of my colleagues die, it makes my career harder to defend."

Read the book, but don't be tempted to emulate her achievements. It can only end in tears. Into the Planet -- My Life as a Cave Diver, published hardbound by Harper Collins, can be purchased by clicking here. It's $29.99, and for every book sold, Undercurrent gets a wee share.

-- John Bantin

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