One of the reasons that I did my Nitrox Specialty Course is because of the added safety factor that Nitrox provides me while diving. Enriched Air (or Nitrox) is air that has a concentration of Oxygen higher than 21%.
At Underwater Sports we typically mix Nitrox at 32%, which has a maximum operating depth of 34m, and is perfect for most local dive sites here in South Australia.
Nitrox can do a few good things.
Firstly, by having a lower concentration of Nitrogen, it means that when you are diving you accumulate Nitrogen into your system more slowly, allowing a longer ‘no decompression limit’ and hence a longer dive. (Note that this does not mean that you breath your tank empty less quickly! You still breath at the same rate, so you still need to monitor your SPG closely), but at a particular depth you can stay longer with Nitrox with regards to your NDL.
Secondly, breathing a higher concentration of Oxygen can make you feel better and more energised after a day of diving (so you don’t feel sleepy on the drive home!) Personally it also stops me from getting headaches after diving.
It is a relatively easy specialty course to complete. As with nearly all PADI courses, there is some homework to do (read the course manual, answer all the questions, and use the dive computer simulator which comes with the course materials). Then there is one evening in the classroom with your instructor to review your homework, discuss the questions, learn how to analyse Nitrox scuba tanks, and sit a multiple choice exam. The course does not require dives, so it is a great winter course to complete.
Cost including all course materials & PADI certification card is currently only $195.
Contact Underwater Sports if you would like to do this specialty. The next course evening is on Thursday 17th May, starting at 6pm.