What Should I Expect in my PADI Enriched Air Nitrox Course?
Nitrox has gained popularity amongst divers all around the world in the last couple of decades. Recreational and technical divers use Nitrox while diving and see many benefits. But there are also some considerations and risks we must be aware of to prevent dangerous situations. Dive Ninja Expeditions offers the PADI Enriched Air Nitrox Specialty course, so you can learn when and how to use this great tool.
What is Enriched Air Nitrox?
Enriched Air Nitrox, EANx or simply Nitrox as most divers call it, is a blend of gasses which allows us to stay at depth for longer periods of time. How? by adding more oxygen to the air, the percentage of nitrogen declines. By reducing the nitrogen, we get a longer no decompression limit and can stay longer at depth, as there is less nitrogen that can get absorbed in our body. Nitrox is any oxygen-nitrogen gas blend that has more than 21% oxygen, but not higher than 40% for recreational dives. The most common blends of Nitrox, that are used for recreational diving are 32% and 36% oxygen
Nitrox makes our dives longer, not by increasing our breathing gas, but because of longer NDLs. It gives us a chance to explore areas under the water that without Nitrox would have a very limited time. Some people also report feeling less tired after diving with Nitrox, and it is a very good way to have more conservative dives for people with higher risk of DCS. In most parts of the world, Nitrox tanks will be slightly more expensive than regular air tanks, because of the special gear and tanks that the fill stations must use. But also because pure oxygen can be a bit pricey. You must complete a course and get certified to use Nitrox anywhere in the world and enjoy it’s benefits. All major dive agencies have their version of the course, and any certificate will allow you to get Nitrox almost everywhere.
The PADI Enriched Air Nitrox course has 2 parts, independent study and a workshop with an instructor. You can choose how you’d like to study the course manual – a printed book or on your computer/tablet/phone with the PADI E-Learning program. The digital program is an interactive software which has not only the text and images of the book, but also all of the knowledge reviews and the course final exam in it. It is easy and comfortable to use, more environmentally friendly, and allows you to finish all of the reading work at home. So you won’t waste ‘vacation time’ in the classroom. In the manual you will read more in depth about Nitrox, what it is, what it is used for, its benefits and hazards and how to prevent accidents involving Nitrox. After reading through the manual, We can go ahead and begin our workshop.
During your session with our instructor, you will first go over the course knowledge and make sure all questions are answered and any doubt about what you read in the manual is cleared. If you have your own dive computer, make sure to bring it with you to your course. Your instructor will go over how to set dive computers for nitrox dives and how to plan a nitrox dive using a dive computer. We will do our best to show you how to do all of that on your own computer, if you’re not sure about it. Next, we will talk about how to plan a nitrox dive without a computer. So you’ll be covered even if your computer fails or you forgot to bring it with you. In this part of the workshop we will also talk about how to know what is the best blend for a specific dive plan and whether the blend you already have suits the kind of dive you’d like to do.
Lastly, we will have a look at using gas analyzers, analyzing gasses, checking your tank for fill-station markings, marking your own tank and filling a nitrox log. This part is practical and will let you practice the different steps you will have to take every time you go diving with Nitrox after the course. As you can see, this is a ‘dry course’. While there are steps to take before diving with nitrox, the dives themselves are exactly the same with no special skills or procedures to perform. Though, we can schedule a couple of Nitrox dives in one of our beautiful dive locations so you can take it for a test run.
Why Should You Take This Course?
Nitrox is most beneficial at depths between 50-130 ft/15-40 meters. It is also a much safer gas for us to breathe while diving many times during the same day, or if we are doing multiple dives a day for multiple days, like on a liveaboard trip. Since we absorb less nitrogen with Nitrox, we can have longer no decompression limits (especially on consecutive dives), shorter surface intervals and can even be more conservative on our dives by using Nitrox while diving on air profiles. Some dive sites will not even be worth exploring without nitrox, like Gordo Banks, which is the best dive site in the Los Cabos area to see schooling hammerhead sharks. Now, who would want to miss that amazing experience?
Join one of our PADI Enriched Air Nitrox courses, and add a great tool to your ‘dive skills bag’. Choose to use it when it benefits your dive, or not to use it if it doesn’t fit the situation. But It’s always worth having!
SPECIAL ONLINE NITROX COURSES ARE NOW AVAILABLE, AS LONG AS TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS ARE IN EFFECT!
Complete your Enriched Air Nitrox course from your home, while lock-downs and social distancing regulations restrict our diving and education programs. We have built a full online workshop, so you can still get certified by completing the course via video chat with our instructors!
Nature and outdoors is what I love most. Animals, plants and terrain. Always seeking adventures, exploration and learning something new. Love being a Ninja Instructor and Expedition Guide and showing people the beauties of the world.
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