Thermal Protection is Needed for Longer Dives

Thermal2To get the full benefit of diving with Nitrox, you’ll need to be sure that you are wearing adequate thermal protection for the waters where you dive. Whether you dive in the tropics or in colder waters, the extended bottom times provided by Nitrox will usually necessitate more thermal protection/insulation than you might ordinarily wear.

While you might be able to dive in the Caribbean wearing a dive skin for short duration dives, when using Nitrox you may need to switch to wearing a tropical shorty wetsuit. The fact is that the longer your dives are, the more likely it is that you’ll get cold, even in warmer waters.

To reap the maximum benefits of Nitrox in waters colder than about 18° C/ 65° F, you should consider a dry suit for optimal thermal protection. Dry suits are not difficult to use, but they do require additional training, so ask your instructor about drysuit diving if you are interested in their use.

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If you would like more information, please contact:

SDI
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Nitrox Dive Computers

Dive-Computers-2Before you enroll in this course, you should purchase or rent a programmable Nitrox computer. Almost every manufacturer today offers Nitrox dive computers at prices that put them well within the budget of the majority of active divers. You may also find that many SDI dive centers and resorts rent Nitrox programmable computers.

Renting a Nitrox computer may be an excellent way to check out a specific model before buying, but be careful that you fully understand how your rented computer works before diving with it. If you rent a computer from a dive center, be sure to ask them to provide you with a copy of the manual, or at the very least, have them explain the computer’s functions to you so that you fully understand them.

Most dedicated Nitrox computers simultaneously track and display your nitrogen absorption for decompression calculations, as well as monitoring your oxygen exposure. If you are making multiple deep dives in a single day, this type of information is extremely important.

Some of the more sophisticated models even allow you to change gas mixtures while diving, a feature used by many technical divers, who switch to mixtures containing higher percentages of oxygen for decompression.

Most modern Nitrox dive computers allow you to set the percentage of oxygen in your breathing mix anywhere between 21 percent and 50 percent oxygen. A few will even allow richer mixtures. However, most require that the percentage of oxygen in the mixture be set before you enter the water. This procedure must be done prior to the start of every dive.

Dive-Computers-3Some Nitrox dive computers will default to 21 percent oxygen (air) when they are first “booted up” at the start of a dive day. Others will retain whatever mixture at which you set them. Whatever type of computer you use, it is essential that you verify that it is properly set for the mixture you wish to use before each dive. This is essential for the computer to calculate your decompression and oxygen exposure properly.

In most other ways, Nitrox dive computers do not differ from air diving computers. They provide the same type of dive planning, repetitive dive calculations, and log functions.

In addition to programming your computer with the information on the mixture you will be using, you will also need to program it with the maximum partial pressure to which you are willing to expose yourself. To get the maximum depth capability from EAN32, you need to program your computer for a partial pressure of oxygen of 1.6. If you want to be more conservative, you can set your dive computer for a PO2 of 1.5 or 1.4.

It’s important to remember that none of the dive computers currently available provide an exact measurement of the nitrogen and oxygen levels inside your body. The computer only shows a mathematical model of what diving physiologists think is going on. Even if you follow your dive computer exactly, it’s still possible to experience decompression sickness or oxygen toxicity. However, these same risks apply to using dive tables, with the added risk that it is far more likely that a diver will make mistakes in his calculations when using tables and formulas.

You may also see divers using air diving computers with Nitrox. This is far from an ideal situation, as not only does one lose the advantage of the additional bottom time provided by using enriched air, air computers do not track one’s exposure to oxygen, and this must be done manually.

Get Certified for Nitrox Diving.

Learn Advanced Nitrox Diving.

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If you would like more information, please contact:

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Nitrox Tank Preparation, Marking and Identification

If you own tanks and intend to use them for Nitrox diving (and you should!) there are a couple of things you need to do before filling them with your personal mix. It is impossible for a dive operator to determine, simply by looking at cylinder markings that indicate the cylinder was O2 cleaned within the past year, that a cylinder and valve have not been exposed to air or gas mixtures that would invalidate its O2 service rating.

Thinking About a Dive Trip? Get Nitrox Certified Before.

Like many specialty courses out there, there is an end goal to getting certified with enriched air, better known as; nitrox.

Once you have learned the benefits of diving with nitrox, imagine applying those benefits around the globe at some of the world’s best diving spots. You now have the opportunity to introduce your newly learned knowledge, and its advantages, away from home.

While out on your diving adventure, you may find yourself in one of two different situations; on a live-a-board or at a resort. One thing is for certain, you will be doing multiple dives a day and diving with nitrox is one of the best ways to lower nitrogen exposure levels over the course of your trip.

While on these dive trips, you will find that you will often be granted the opportunity to do roughly two to three dives a day, if you are staying on a resort. If you chose on a live a board, that number may go up to five dives per day, including night dives, over the course of five or six days. That is a lot of diving!

Diving Nitrox as a Safety Net

Nitrox-2Based on the end goals, divers may apply the use of nitrox differently. Many divers, when faced with the chance of getting wet for so many days and so many times a day, really want to use nitrox as a “safety” net. They know that they may be pushing their own limits, and like to have a safety margin incorporated into their dive profiles. How do you do this? Well, you simply keep your dive computer set to “air” while diving nitrox. This is a common practice for people that want to maintain strict limits throughout the course of a week, because they are exposing their body to so many dives within the course of a several days. This is a fantastic way to maintain a much lower risk factor in relation to decompression sickness that may be caused by high exposure of nitrogen from pushing the limits multiple times a day. However, you must be aware of what your MOD is (Maximum Operating Depth) and respect those limits. If you do, you are good to go!

Extending Bottom Time with Nitrox

Another application of nitrox in your travels is to help the divers get the most out of the bottom time, past the time when most other divers that are on air would normally have met their no-decompression limits. Imagine being at a dive site where the real action starts at 60 ft/20m It is your third day on your dive adventure trip, and already your fourth dive of the day. Depending on your profile, diving with air may give you limited time at 60 ft/20m, based on all the dives you have accumulated over the last few days. This is where a nitrox computer gets you the biggest bang for your dollar. By setting your nitrox computer to the mix you have in your tank, you may now have increased your limits considerably, allowing you extended bottom time on your dives. Please keep in mind you are no longer increasing your safety margins, as far as limits go, as you would be when diving nitrox as “air’ on your computer.

Is Nitrox Available for My Dive?

The availability of nitrox on a resort or a dive boat operation is one of the most common questions with Scuba Travel International. Because of the remoteness of certain destinations and costs associated with producing mixed gas, it may not always be offered at certain destinations – though we are defiantly seeing it grow based on the demand from divers all across the world. You may also find that many live-a-boards often be offer it for free or at a reduced cost.

So what are you waiting for? Go to your nearest SDI-TDI Dive Center and get started on your nitrox course before you book your next scuba adventure. Take SDI’s Computer Nitrox Course or TDI’s Understanding Nitrox course; BOTH academics for these courses are available on line.

SDI’s Computer Nitrox course will teach you how to properly use nitrox along side with your nitrox computer, while understanding the benefits of diving the mixed gas.

TDI’s Understanding Nitrox course is the first step to the Tech Diving World and a little bit more in-depth as far as the overall view on nitrox.

And do not forget to ask your dive center what trips Scuba Travel International may have in store for you.

Get SDI Certified for Nitrox Diving.

Contact SDI TDI and ERDI
If you would like more information, please contact:

SDI
Tel: 888.778.9073 | 207.729.4201
Email: Worldhq@tdisdi.com
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Nitrox: Selecting Your Best Mix

Best-MixNitrox has come a long way over the years; from being a forbidden gas to the most commonly used breathing gas by divers. Despite the number of divers using nitrox, there are still some misconceptions about how nitrox can best benefit you during your dives and what the best mix is for your dive. In this article we are going to focus on the best mix, which will also address some of the benefits.

Environmental Conditions for Nitrox

Before we get to the formulas for how to figure out this best mix, we should talk about some factors that effect this decision. First, you need to know the environmental conditions such as: current, visibility, and temperature. All these factors affect your metabolic rate, which increases your uptake of nitrogen. Without taking these factors into consideration when deciding your best mix, you: a) may put yourself at risk or b) not chose the optimum percentage of oxygen.

PO2 for Diving Nitrox

Now that we have determined some of the environmental factors, it’s time to look at PO2’s. For recreational diving the maximum PO2 is 1.6. For a diver to choose a 1.6 PO2, all environmental conditions must be perfect: good visibility, no current, warm water temperatures, a low workload for the diver and the planed bottom time of the dive cannot exceed 45 minutes. If any of these factors are not perfect, you must lower the PO2. As an example, if your dive involves current, low visibility, etc. it would be best to set your PO2 to a maximum of something less than 1.3.

Atmospheric Pressure

The final decision making factor is depth. Because all formulas use absolute pressure, you must always factor in atmospheric pressure, or the pressure of the air on the water. The formula for determining best mix, PO2 and maximum depth is commonly referred to as Daltons Diamond (also known as a T formula). To determine best mix you must know the depth of your dive and the PO2 you want to use.

As an SDI Computer Nitrox diver, you have learned how to program your mix and PO2 into the dive computer and let it determine your maximum depth. Most computers will give an audible and visual alarm should you get close to or exceed your maximum PO2. Knowing the formulas above gives you a better understanding of how your computer works and should you decide to get involved in the technical side of diving, the above information introduces you to the basic formula for all future technical courses.

Now that we have discussed many of the variables that affect nitrox diving and determining your best mix, it is important to understand that not all dives are the same, so saying that one mix fits all would be incorrect. It is important to plan your dive or dives ahead of time and get the proper mix(s) in your cylinder(s). Equally as important is verifying the mixes you received, logging them at the dive center, labeling the cylinder(s) and then just before the dive, analyzing again.

The single most important things are that you are safe and having fun. Having some conservancy in your dive planning is a good move, and it will help ensure another day of diving.

Get SDI Certified for Nitrox Diving

Contact SDI TDI and ERDI
If you would like more information, please contact:

SDI
Tel: 888.778.9073 | 207.729.4201
Email: Worldhq@tdisdi.com
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Benefits of Diving Nitrox

word-pictureFew advances in the realm of diving have had a more profound impact during the past two decades than the widespread availability of Enriched Air Nitrox. And nothing has made the switch from diving air to diving its more exotic cousin more straight-forward or more enjoyable than Nitrox programmable dive computers.

The really fun part of diving is all about being underwater. That’s what we train for, that’s what we look forward to, and that’s what we talk about with our friends. But most of us would agree that our dives seem to be over much too soon, and surface intervals seem to drag on forever.

NitroxOf course, we could extend our bottom time way past the recommended no decompression limits and execute staged decompression diving! But for most of us, the additional training, equipment and dedication necessary to properly plan and execute technical dives presents too much of a commitment. Is there a simpler alternative? Luckily there is: Nitrox allows sport divers like you and your buddies to extend your bottom times and to shorten your surface intervals significantly compared to your previous air dives.

When you dive using nitrox, you can take advantage of two major benefits. First, you can increase your maximum allowable bottom time. This happens because the extra oxygen added to your breathing gas has displaced nitrogen. As there is less nitrogen in the mix to be absorbed by your body, you can spend longer at depth before you reach the nitrogen limit – which is the decompression limit. Secondly, since you are absorbing less nitrogen on a given dive, your surface intervals can usually be shortened.

Are you ready to start enjoying longer dives with shorter surface intervals?

Get SDI Certified for Nitrox Diving

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If you would like more information, please contact:

SDI
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Underwater Journal, Issue 24 is ready

underwater-journalUWJ Issue 24 is ready for download. If you have not subscribed, simply sign in and create an account (takes just a few minutes and it’s FREE).

This issue of underwater journal dives into some great features including: the mystery wreck of Helldiver and its discovery story. Did you know that there is only one Helldiver remaining in the world that is still in flying condition?

Also check out Pierce Hoover as he explores the Grand Cayman’s shallow water Kittiwake Shipwreck and the bell of the underwater ball. Did you know that there was a porthole cut in the top of the bell to allow light to enter and diver’s bubbles to escape?

Dive Raja Ampat with Mike Bartick and get a glimpse of where marine life diversity is amongst the highest recorded on earth, including a staggering 540 hard coral species, 1,300 reef fish and over 4.5 million hectares of rich, bio-diverse ocean to explore.

In addition to some of the fantastic dive sites, this issue discusses Gas Management techniques and pony bottles, future exploration with Exosuits, and spicy sauces to heat up your taste buds.

There’s much more to enjoy and learn, get your FREE magazine today. Don’t forget, UWJ is iPad compatible to download and save in iBooks.

This is YOUR MAGAZINE with lots of benefits. We appreciate your support and encouragement! Enjoy, and please let us know what you think.

Underwater Journal is the official publication of SDI/TDI/ERDI

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Liveaboard Diving in the Maldives

maldives-liveaboardLiveaboard diving in the Maldives is some of the best in South Asia – and honestly, some of the best in the world! The Scuba Travel International Team researches and pre-screens dive operations extensively before we book our customers with them, and let us tell you: there are liveaboard experiences that are just not-so-great.

Not so in the Maldives! As an example, our recent inspection of the Ark Royal revealed spacious cabins, with a lounge so large it took our breath away. Not only do you have up to four opportunities per day to explore the pristine waters of the Maldives – where manta rays are common sightings, sharks are often found, and large schools of colorful fish that can only be seen in this region flash by the healthy, vibrant coral reefs – but later, if you wish, you have a comfortable setting with which to connect with others who share your passion for travel, diving and adventure! These meetings can (and have) led to friendships that last a lifetime – and isn’t that the best sort of souvenir – connecting with like minded travelers on life’s highway?

Prefer some solitude? Take in the view from the deck, or luxuriate under the skilled hands of a masseuse. Retreat to your cabin and enjoy a movie – or simply revel in knowing that life’s pressures and responsibilities are on a far distant shore. Those who like to always be available will find comfort in knowing that cell service is available throughout the region. Smart phones and lap tops can access the internet for a nominal fee—so it’s super easy to let your Facebook friends know what a great time you’re having liveaboard diving in the Maldives!

Contact STI
If you would like more information Scuba Travel International or to schedule an appointment, please contact:
STI
Tel: 888.778.9073 | 207.729.4201
Email: Worldhq@tdisdi.com
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You’re Booking that Dive Trip and Excitement is Building: Are YOU Ready?

If you have taken a recess from diving, there are many ways to get ready!

Inactive-DiverWe understand that many of you are busy…really busy! So, when we suggest you jump in your local stores and “shake down” your dive gear, you respond “yeah right!”

It was all you could do to drop your bag off at your local SDI facility and ask them to “check this out… I’m going diving!” So you know your scuba gear WILL be ready, but will you?

Here is a quick and painless suggestion as to how to get ready.

Visit https://www.tdisdi.com and check out which online course peaks your interest? Sign up and take it as a primer to get you thinking, and yes reflecting, on your upcoming adventure.

Once you arrive at your dive destination, come clean! Trust me, it won’t be the first time they’ve heard, ”I’ve been busy…” Don’t worry when you get started the words will come to you!

Once you get in the water take advantage of a simple shake down dive. If your buddy is not coming with you set your expectations high and team up with the most active diver in the group. Notice I said most active NOT highest certified… that person may be in the same boat as you (yes, pun intended).

Even if you are an ex-Olympic Swimmer, ease back into your diving. NEVER EVER try to pick right back up where you left off…unless you have done so through continuing education.

Go Get Wet …have FUN and tell your friends all about it! There is no better way to develop a larger circle of diving buddies!

Contact SDI TDI and ERDI
If you would like more information SDI, TDI and ERDI or to look up our eLearning courses with SDI, please contact:
SDI
Tel: 888.778.9073 | 207.729.4201
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