Have you ever wondered about nitrox?
For those of you who are nitrox certified and dive regularly with this specially enriched air with the telltale green and yellow dive cylinders, you will know the secret. For those of you who don’t, read on.
What is nitrox?
Nitrox refers to any gas mixture composed of nitrogen and oxygen. This includes atmospheric air, which is approximately 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% other gases.
By upping the oxygen in a scuba cylinder, the amount of nitrogen is reduced.
What are the benefits of nitrox?
Longer Bottom Times
Recreational nitrox contains a lower percentage of nitrogen than regular air. The reduced percentage of nitrogen in recreational nitrox allows divers to extend their no-decompression limits by reducing the nitrogen absobed into the body.
Shorter Surface Intervals
A diver using nitrox absorbs less nitrogen on any given dive compared to a diver using air. This means that the nitrox diver has less nitrogen to out-gas during the required surface interval, which can shorten the surface interval time drastically.
Longer Repetitive Dive Times
Nitrox becomes especially useful for divers who plan on doing more than one dive per day. A diver using nitrox will have a longer allowable bottom time on a repetitive dive than a diver using air, because the diver using nitrox has absorbed less nitrogen.
Feeling of Wellbeing
Many divers claim to feel less exhausted after a dive on nitrox than on a compariable dive on air. By reducing a diver’s nitrogen absorbtion, nitrox may also reduce a diver’s post-dive fatigue. This is not a proven fact, but enough divers claim to feel this effect to bear consideration.
How do I get certified?
The nitrox course is a ‘dry’ course, which means that you don’t have to do a dive to get your nitrox certification, unless you want to, of course.
The steps involved are:
- Review the medical questionnaire. (A ‘YES’ on the medical form will require clearance from a doctor.)
- Watch a nitrox DVD. (Can be done while you are on the island.)
- Read the nitrox manual and complete the knowledge reviews inside. (The manual will be yours to keep.)
- Finally, sit for a short exam to test your newfound knowledge.
- Analyze a tank with your instructor.
The cost of the course is $125.00 USD. This includes the manual, exam, certification card, instruction, as well as one tank to give it a try.
Nitrox is charged at $10.00 USD per tank on the boat and $12.00 USD per tank for shore dive rentals.
Contact Brac Scuba Shack for more information or to book a nitrox course.