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
Based 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.
Contact SDI TDI and ERDI
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