What is Enriched Air Nitrox?
Enriched Air is exactly as it sounds – regular air that has been enriched with additional Oxygen. A “regular” air gas blend is exactly the same as the air you are breathing while reading this – 21% Oxygen and 79% Nitrogen. When we “enrich” air by adding a higher percentage of Oxygen we increase the Oxygen content up to 40%. The most commonly used percentages however are 32% or 36%.
How does this help divers?
If the oxygen content is increased to 32% it means that the Nitrogen content is decreased correspondingly from the regular air percentage of 79% to just 68%.
32% Oxygen + 68% Nitrogen = 100% (see image below)
Nitrogen is the gas which builds up in divers’ bodies and it’s the level of Nitrogen which determines our no-stop time (AKA no decompression time limits) which is the maximum time we can stay at depth. This time is displayed on your computer and counts down so you know when to start shallowing up.
If the percentage of Nitrogen in your tank is less, it takes longer to build up in your body – which means you can stay longer at depth!
What are the benefits of Diving with Enriched Air Nitrox?
- Longer for Deeper:
As we mentioned above, Enriched Air Nitrox potentially allows you to spend longer at your maximum depth by increasing your no-stop time.
- Shorter Surface Intervals:
Less Nitrogen in your body takes less time to off-gas (leave your body) so you can enjoy shorter surface intervals and more time underwater!
- Increasing Safety:
If you keep your dive computer set to regular air and follow it, you’ll be building in an additional margin for safety as the amount of Nitrogen in your body will be much less than that which the computer is basing your dive profile on.
- Ability to Explore New Dive Sites
Some dive sites just aren’t accessible when diving on air. Take a seamount which is 20 meters deep at it’s shallowest point. Making this dive on air is not possible. You need to spend the majority of the time below 20 meters and when taking into account your descent and ascent time you would be left with just minutes on the mount and unable to explore the deeper areas. With Nitrox though, sites such as this become much more feasible – meaning you’ll see more and be able to dive in areas which weren’t viable previously.
- Meeting Requirements:
Some operators in remote destinations, and many liveaboards, require a Nitrox certification for you to be able to dive with them – now you can!
- Working Towards your PADI Master Scuba Diver Rating:
The PADI Master Scuba Diver rating is the highest level of recreational diving – it’s like the black belt of scuba! To become a Master Scuba Diver you’ll need to be a certified PADI Rescue Diver with 5 specialty Course certifications – Nitrox can be one of them!
- Becoming a PADI Professional:
If you are planning to become a PADI Divemaster or Instructor a Nitrox certification is essential so that you can guide and teach divers who are diving with Nitrox. If you are diving on air you won’t be able to safely guide them as you won’t be able to stay as long as them at depth
How Do I get Started?
The PADI Nitrox (Enriched Air) course is a theory-only course with no dives required, and we offer two options:
- Take the course online (e-learning) before coming to Bali by following this link: https://www.padi.com/elearning-scuba-registration/default.aspx?irra=6522&LanguageType=en&CourseType=eanx. It’s a fun and efficient way to learn and you can start immediately and work at your own speed whenever you have some free time. In total it takes about 3 hours to complete your online study. You will need to pay $275 to PADI online for the e-learning and we will issue your certification for FREE if you are diving with us. You’ll take a quick practical session when you arrive for diving, we’ll certify you and you can join our dive trips on that same day – with Nitrox!
- Take the course in our classroom. This takes half a day and costs IDR 2,100,000 (including PADI online manual & certification fee).
Whichever option you choose you’ll get free Nitrox for two dives each day on any dive trips you take with us.
If you’d like more information about the PADI Nitrox Specialty Course, fun diving in Bali or to make a reservation, contact us on: letsdive@BaliScuba.com
We look forward to exploring and diving Bali with you soon!