An explanation of Technical Diving made easy
Diving on air has limits. When we dive on air we have to consider nitrogen narcosis and NDL (no decompression limits) when planning dives. However, unless you plan to dive deeper than 66 meters you don't have to think about oxygen toxicity when breathing air. Technical diving pushes back the no decompression limits and nitrogen narcosis limits of air.
PADI, TDI or IANTD Basic Nitrox:
To understand technical diving you need to decide that you would like to extend your diving limits. Maybe you want to do 30 minutes at 30 meters instead of having a 20-minute NDL. The PADI Basic Nitrox course shows you how to do this. We simply add a bit more oxygen to the air you are breathing, and by the process of elimination, reduce the nitrogen. Recreational use of Nitrox is restricted to mixtures containing up to 40% oxygen. Less nitrogen in the gas means you absorb less nitrogen while you are diving. By using a set of adjusted Recreational Dive Planners we can now dive longer. Maybe you'ld like to spend more time on Akitsushima to watch the barracuda, or maybe you need more time to cover all of the Kogyo on one dive or to swim through the Irako. Can do! Diving on Nitrox usually results in a 50% increase in allowable bottom time.
The PADI Nitrox Diver Specialty Course can be taken by any Open Water Diver with 10 logged dives or any Advanced Open Water Diver. The TDI Nitrox Diver course can be taken as part of the SDI Open Water Diver course to increase safety or by anyone with a diving license.
As an example of the benefits of nitrox let's look at two wreck dives in Coron:
First Dive on the Akitsushima at 33 meters or 110 feet
Air dive = 16 minutes bottom time (for PADI divers)
Surface Interval required between the dives:
1:26 for PADI divers on air
Second Dive on the Taiei Maru at 27 meters or 90 feet
Air dive = 18 minutes bottom time (for PADI divers)
IANTD Advanced Nitrox: **Sorry, no more IANTD Instructor! Try TDI!**
To get even more bottom time you can take the IANTD Advanced Nitrox course. In this course we teach you how to use a tank with 2 valve openings and 2 regulators for greater safety in the 30-40 meter depth range. If you blow an O-ring - No Problem! Just change to the other regulator. We also show you how to safely perform decompression dives. By using a gas mixture of 50% oxygen and 50% nitrogen in a "Stage Bottle", you can do short, safe decompression stops. The nitrogen in your body from the dive will quickly be eliminated through your lungs while you are breathing your "50% O2 Deco Mix".
TDI Advanced Nitrox:
Can be done on a single main tank and a single tank containing your decompression mix. The TDI Advanced Nitrox course clears you for the use of all oxygen blends as your decompression mix, even on 100% oxygen at 6 and 3 meters.
IANTD Technical Nitrox:
Is there anything to see a bit deeper? The IANTD Technical Nitrox Diver course lets you use double tanks to carry more gas down to 50 meters. When you decompress there is 80% oxygen and only 20% nitrogen in your decompression tank, so your body is cleaned of nitrogen gas very quickly.
IANTD Intermediate Trimix:
Do you need to dive deeper where nitrogen narcosis and oxygen toxicity impose limits? The IANTD Intermediate Trimix Diver course allows you to dive deep where oxygen toxicity and nitrogen narcosis from air are serious problems. We do this by replacing the nitrogen and some of the oxygen in your tanks with helium. The oxygen must be reduced because it can become poisonous at high pressures. This new gas, Trimix, eliminates oxygen toxicity problems at depth, and also reduces nitrogen narcosis. You can be at 60 meters and only feel the narcosis of a 30 meter air dive!
PADI Semi-Closed Circuit Rebreather:
Do you want to get those U/W photos that nobody else has? The PADI Semi Closed Circuit Rebreather Course let's you do this, and any Basic Nitrox Diver can join. The Rebreather simply re-cycles the breathing mixture right back to you, with a chemical filter to absorb and eliminate the carbon dioxide. As you consume some of the oxygen during each breath the oxygen is replenished with nitrox. You can dive the Draeger Dolphin Rebreather for 2 hours with a tiny five-liter tank of nitrox, and almost no bubbles. The fish you are trying to photograph don't even know that you are there! How about surprising a Goby or cleaner shrimp for a rare photo opportunity?
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