Enriched Air diving is a must if spending more time exploring the underwater world is a priority for you. The Enriched Air Diver Course is a game changer and a natural evolution for divers as they gain experience.
Diving with enriched air nitrox increases your no decompression time, especially on repeat dives. It also decreases your required surface interval, giving you the chance to make the most of your travels by diving longer and more frequently.
When you look at the evolution of dive gear and technique, a primary driver is time. Getting cold ended dives, so we invented wetsuits. We used air kicking to stay off the bottom, so we invented BCDs. Tables gave us no-stop limits based on our deepest depth even if we’re only there for two seconds, but computers and the eRDPML unchained us from that with multilevel diving. Enriched air nitrox continues the evolution, we get a lot more no-stop time, and you especially see it with repeat diving. Suppose you want to do 25 metres for 25 minutes, stay up an hour and then go to 18 metres. With air, you have 39 minutes no stop - do the same with EANx36 and you have 95 minutes ! And that is with tables, multilevel diving using a dive computer with enriched air and the no-stop time rarely ends the dive.
Nitrox in general gives you greater no stop times at the same depth as it would do diving with air. It does this by replacing some of the Nitrogen in your tank with Oxygen, the exact mix depends on the depth you are diving to. Increased Oxygen has inherent risks but all this is covered when you complete the Enriched Air course and is completely safe when you follow the rules.
When we dive on the Zenobia we find that air is fine on the first dive, although Nitrox would be a bonus, and the amount of air we have rules when we need to ascend. On the second dive however, even after a long surface interval, we would be limited on how long we can stay below 22 metres. With Nitrox we can easily double our time deeper than this and explore for a lot longer, on air we would have to ascend onto the top of the wreck and even finish the dive some 3 to 4 metres off her in mid water. This is one of the main advantages of diving on Nitrox especially when diving deeper than 20 meters.
There are many benefits to diving on enriched air nitrox, but there are also restrictions. Competing the course will teach you everything that’s needed to safely dive on enriched air nitrox, analyze the oxygen content in a scuba tank, and adjust a dive computer to account for enriched air nitrox.
If you don't already dive on Nitrox you don't know what you are missing !