PADI Nitrox Course and Diving on Nitrox
Nitrox Course and Diving.
Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, a French Chemist discovered and named oxygen in 1777. We’ve learned that it is the third-most common element and we need it to live. As you read this, you’re breathing air, which consists of about 21 percent oxygen. The remainder, approximately 79 percent (leaving aside some trace gases), is nitrogen. So why choose a PADI Nitrox Course and Diving?
A Nitrox, EANX or Enriched Air cylinder as they are commonly known, has an increased oxygen percentage inside. Doing the Nitrox Course and Diving on Nitrox is considered having a tank oxygen content of more than 21 percent and up to a maximum of 40 percent.
We have been diving on nitrox for several decades. Commercial-diving companies and the Navy have used it since the 1950s. Some divers viewed nitrox with skepticism when it appeared on the recreational scene. Nevertheless, its popularity has grown tremendously and is available on most dive boats and at most dive centers. Divers largely choose nitrox for dives in the 18m to 40 m depths, where it’s most effective.
Why Take the Nitrox Course and Diving?
Diving on Nitrox is chosen mainly to extend bottom time. But two factors dictate your bottom time; first, your gas consumption. Second, as you move beyond open-water diver 18 m recommendations, is your no-stop or no-decompression time. These two factors dictate planning and executing a dive.
Your no-decompression limit is the maximum amount of time you may spend at a given depth. Otherwise, you’ll be making making mandatory decompression stops during your ascent. The defining factor in when you reach that time is the amount of nitrogen you’ve absorbed while under pressure.
Does that mean all my dives will be longer?
No. Your own gas consumption — your ‘SAC rate’ — will still factor into the dive, as will all the many other factors that govern duration and depth. Your buddy, water temperature, logistical constraints, tides, dive boat/site rules — all play a role.
Are there any other benefits to the Nitrox Course and Diving?
Diving is statistically very safe and, therefore, using nitrox doesn’t mean that, statistically, you’re any safer. However, diving an identical profile to an air diver you will absorb less nitrogen and therefore have less DCS risk exposure. Indeed, many divers dive an air profile while using nitrox for extra conservatism.
Another benefit of reduced nitrogen exposure on each dive is that surface intervals may be shorter. This means that in some circumstances, you may be able to get back in the water while your air counterparts must spend more time on the boat.
How would I identify a nitrox dive cylinder?
Most nitrox cylinders have stickers identifying them. They have green and yellow markings with EANX/Nitrox and the divers name and Maximum Diving Depth on them.
Do I need special equipment to dive with nitrox?
Most diving equipment is compatible with an oxygen content of up to 40 percent. Beyond that, the combustibility of oxygen often necessitates more specialized equipment.
Is Nitrox training intensive?
Not with the PADI Nitrox Course and Diving . PADI offer a recreational nitrox course that you can complete over just a few hours. You can do e-learning or classroom and practical application with nitrox cylinders. It’s vital that divers using nitrox understand how to plan and execute their dives including MOD, no-stop limits and how to recognize and deal with oxygen toxicity. Understanding the benefits and the hazards of nitrox diving is key.
Now let’s get diving on some of our wrecks including the Hardeep, Khram and Kut. Contact Terry to make your booking for the Nitrox Course or diving. Check out our facebook page too for Wreck Weekends.