Common Name: “Nitrox”
The introduction of Enriched Air Nitrox (EANx) truly revolutionized recreational diving, allowing divers to stay down longer and accumulate less nitrogen than ever before. If you have been diving with PCH before, chances are you have seen most of the instructors, as well as many Open Water students on dive 4, using a tank with a big "NITROX" sticker on the side of it.
What is Nitrox, and why would someone choose to use it? Nitrox is nothing more than air with a little bit more oxygen than normal, to reduce how much nitrogen the diver breathes. The decrease in nitrogen means a diver may stay at depth longer, because they aren't loading nitrogen in their tissues as fast as a diver on air. Consider that a newly certified Open Water diver is allowed to dive to a depth of 60 feet. On regular air (21% Oxygen), this diver's no-decompression-limit would be 55 minutes. This same diver, by merely changing his air tank out for a mixture of 36% oxygen, would have a no-decompression-limit of 115 minutes, over twice as much time!
Of course, if that diver doesn't remember what a "no-decompression-limit" is, they probably would want to take our Scuba Review along with the Nitrox class.
Because of the lower quantity of nitrogen, you enjoy longer no-decompression limits, especially on repetitive dives, and you reduce the risk of decompression sickness compared to executing your dive plan on regular air. Further, the higher quantity of oxygen helps to reduce fatigue which can improve air consumption. If you are one of "those divers", that always seem to be one of the first to get to the end of their tank on a dive, then Nitrox might help you improve your bottom time, too!
For "those divers", you could also benefit from the use of a larger tank. Contact us to find out how we can help.
As with anything, the benefits of an increased percentage of oxygen come with certain inherent risks as well, and the Nitrox class teaches you how to mitigate those risks.
Who can participate…
Any Open Water Certified diver at least 15 years of age. If you have signed up for your Open Water class with PCH Scuba, we can even teach you Nitrox during your initial Catalina Weekend, and you can use Nitrox on Dive 4 in the ocean. We would encourage you to take advantage of our Open Water Class Upgrade, and combine your Nitrox class with the Peak Performance Buoyancy class.
What is the class like…
This course consists of self-study and a few hours of academic review with your instructor. You will also get hands-on experience in learning how to plan Nitrox dives and analyze your own cylinders.
Where will you learn…
We offer the Nitrox class on Catalina Island as well as at the dive shops that we partner with in Southern California.
When is the class offered…
Any weekend we are in Catalina, we offer the Nitrox class, with no minimum number of students required to participate. If you would like to take this class on the Mainland, please check our calendar to find a class date that fits your schedule.
How much does it cost…
The Nitrox class is $249 and includes your instructor time, academic work, dive planning slates required to complete your training and your certification paperwork.