Jill Heinerth is a bit of a diver. She was instantly bitten by the scuba diving bug in 1988 when she did her PADI Open Water certification dives in Tobermory, Canada.
She didn't just enjoy diving. She, like some of us, was almost overwhelmed by her passion for our sport, and made the key decision to utterly devote herself to diving.
31 years on, Jill Heinerth has evolved into an award winning underwater cinematographer and renowned technical diver. Today she is the first Royal Canadian Geographical Society Explorer-in-Residence. She has earned her stripes the hard way. By getting in the water and doing it. She's dived volcanoes, caves and icebergs, documenting life and the environment.
One of the sweetest stories I know about her involves fellow Canadian explorer and and filmmaker James Cameron. (Titanic, Avatar etc).
"James Cameron was with us to film the pitch trailer for the movie Sanctum and to test new 3D cameras that he would eventually use on Avatar. I took him on his first cave dives and served as the stunt diver for the filming.
When I took him to the deck at Little Devil at Ginnie, a local instructor and his British student swam to the steps. The instructor said something like, "hey if it isn't Hollywood at Ginnie Springs." I thought he was speaking about James Cameron who was beside me blushing a tiny bit and also wishing he had not been found out. Then I introduced him to the pair.
The student said, "I am so excited. i was hoping to meet you.... Jill. Will you sign my fins." Suddenly I was embarrassed because I don't think they had recognized my dive partner who I introduced again. They then responded, "oh hey James nice to meet you." I'm pretty sure they never put two and two together that he was "THE James Cameron," director and Academy-Award Winner."
Jill Heinerth has today announced that her autobiography 'Into The Planet' will be published on 27 August 2019. You can pre-order your copy now.