Should I use Nitrox on a liveaboard?

Cruise and Nitrox a must-do and why.

If you dive on a cruise ship, you will want your scuba dives to be longer. You want to explore another world underwater longer. You probably want to capture the mesmerizing beauty in your mind and say to yourself, “I don’t want to go out. I want to stay a little longer”. This is the reason why you should opt for nitrox diving.

What is the composition of Nitrox?

limit NDL nitrox table

In the typical application, scuba diving, Nitrox is usually distinguished from the air and is treated differently. Nitrox refers to a gas mixture composed of nitrogen and Oxygen. This includes atmospheric air composed of approximately 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% other gases, primarily argon. Nitrogen generally contains less Nitrox than the nitrogen in the air. Conversely, the oxygen concentration in Nitrox is higher than in air, which is 21% to 40%.

Why dive with a liveaboard with Nitrox?

Nitrox diving provides you with compressed air to breathe and helps you stay underwater for a longer time. Nitrox is becoming an essential addition to your basic scuba diving certification. And it’s easy to see why. Diving with enriched air or Nitrox allows you to stay underwater longer at depth – and that’s why we dive! Anything that helps us remain safely below the surface for a few extra minutes is well worth the investment.

Benefits of using Nitrox during a Liveaboard:

Here are some of the benefits you get from Nitrox Diving:

  • A liveaboard is costly, so you shouldn’t hesitate to pay a little extra to increase your underwater time exploring the new world because that’s why you’re here on a liveaboard. Nitrox almost doubles your time underwater. That’s why you got certified, after all!
  • Nitrox can also be used in the hyperbaric treatment of decompression illness, usually at pressures where pure Oxygen would be dangerous.
  • Most divers state that they feel less tired and more energetic after a dive on Nitrox than a dive on air because of the added Oxygen in the air you breathe. After 3-4 dives on a cruising vacation, this extra energy is quite enjoyable.
  • Nitrox puts less nitrogen into the body than air per minute because air contains a maximum of 72% nitrogen.
  • Nitrox provides longer no-decompression limits than air on the same dive. It is like breathing air at a shallower depth.
  • Nitrox provides shorter surface intervals before the next dive.
  • You are using Nitrox while diving affects your health to feel less fatigue after repetitive dives/days. Not everyone feels this way … People are different.
  • Nitrox contains about 20-40% oxygen, which is higher than the average oxygen concentration in air, about 20%. Nitrox also has a lower concentration of nitrogen than air. This lower percentage of nitrogen in Nitrox allows divers to extend their no-decompression limits or dive time by reducing the amount of nitrogen absorbed.

 

Depth charts:

To quickly understand, here is a chart to keep in mind!

Depth 21% O2  32% O2 36% O2
18 m 56 min 95 min 126 min
22 m 37 min 60 min 70 min
30 m 20 min 30 min 35 min

You can see that you can stay almost twice as long at the same depth between air and 32% for a depth of 22m.

Don’t forget that in 99% of the cases, your first outing of the day will be on air (with probably the deepest site, with or without deco) and then the following ones on shallower Nitrox.

How do we make Nitrox at Dragon Dive & on Vaiatea Liveaboard:

There are several techniques for making Nitrox on the market: direct air injection, blending, or membrane inflation (called membrane system). At Dragon Dive, we use a membrane system. The principle is elementary: you need a low-pressure compressor between 5 and 12 bar. This system takes the ambient air and, with a special membrane, separates the gases to reduce the nitrogen in the system’s air to have a system richer in Oxygen. This solution is quite expensive and explains your tank’s surplus, but it is worth it!

Conclusion:

You have just understood the interest in Nitrox! You will feel safer, and dives will be more enjoyable with less fatigue. You have the chance to either dive for the day in Nitrox with Dragon Dive Komodo or with our partner Vaiatea during a Liveaboard trips.

 

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