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Nov 22, 2022

This week, Joy chats with Jill Heinerth, one of the world’s premier underwater explorers and the first person to dive inside iceberg caves. Jill leads expeditions into extreme environments to advance scientific and geographic knowledge. She is an acclaimed polar explorer, cave diver, author, speaker, filmmaker, and climate advocate. Joy fell in love with her best-selling book, Into The Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver which details her journey into the extreme world of underwater cave exploration where she has had to overcome fear in order to go where no one has gone before. You will LOVE this chat! 

In this episode Jill shares her experiences exploring some of the most beautiful and dangerous ecosystems in the world. She talks about the importance of using her fear to help her assess the risks of any dive to keep her and her team safe. You’ll also love her simple tips to help you live a life that supports the health of the planet. After listening to this episode you will feel inspired to follow your passion to create a life of adventure and joy. 

If you want to learn all about the incredible world of cave diving and the animals and ecosystems below the surface, you won’t want to miss this episode. So brew up a cup of ultra-soothing tea, settle in, and get ready to be amazed by Jill’s incredible life story!


Episode Highlights:

  • How Jill’s love of water and innate curiosity inspired her career as an underwater explorer. 
  • The important role fear plays in keeping her safe as she explores. 
  • How she prepares mentally for her dives to remain fully present.
  • What she feels and experiences as she explores underwater caves.  
  • How she overcomes the “chattering monkeys” of her mind while she dives.
  • Some frightening moments she experienced during her dives. 
  • How she follows her intuition & pragmatism to choose or reject expeditions. 
  • Why aging and getting married changed the way she approaches her dives & risk-taking.
  • Why she has no regrets in her life. 
  • The incredible story of how she was the first person to dive into an iceberg cave.
  • The types of marine life she will see when ice diving. 
  • The work she does with biologists to help understand the life that is found in caves. 
  • How she made her childhood dreams come true & turned the story into a children’s book.
  • How she uses the power of deep breathing to stay calm and present. 
  • The privilege she feels at getting to see rare sea life in their natural habitats. 
  • The differences between a cold and a warm water dive. 
  • The importance of learning skills and risks for success in any endeavour. 
  • Why you need to guard yourself against complacency. 
  • Some of Jill’s favourite dives out of the 8000+ she’s done over her career. 
  • The experience she had diving 300 feet under a popular restaurant. 
  • How major storm systems impact cave diving conditions. 
  • Details about her most recent cave diving project in the Ottawa River. 
  • Her favourite dives in Ontario cave systems and why she loves exploring shipwrecks. 
  • Why she feels she has a responsibility to share what she observes. 
  • The one place in the world she would love to dive.
  • How the work she does has impacted her motivation to be a climate activist. 
  • Simple tips to incorporate into your daily life to help fight climate change. 
  • What she learned from biking across Canada from Vancouver to St. John’s, NFLD. 
  • Her new documentary series: Great Lakes Untamed
  • Her professional insight into the incredible Thai Cave Rescue documentary and film. 



Jill on Instagram

Into the Planet Book

The Aquanaut Kid’s Book

Into the Planet Website 

Into the Planet Podcast

Jill on Twitter

Jill on Facebook

Great Lakes Untamed Documentary


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