Enriched Air / Nitrox

 We feel that enriched air/nitrox is so relevant to today’s  scuba divers that it deserves its own page. The outer wall of Grand Cayman is perfectly suited to using enriched air/nitrox, and is becoming so popular that you’ll find most dive centres use it regularly not only on Grand Cayman, but across the world.

 Our popular dusk dives are to the outer wall and we have a good chance of seeing hammerhead shark which are usually at a depth of 100 – 140ft, and eagle rays just off the wall from 60 – 90ft. We maximise our depth to 100ft (unless Deep Speciality trained) and use enriched air/nitrox 32% to extend our bottom time at that depth and then multi level our way to the top and inshore side of the wall.
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Enriched Air / Nitrox Courses : 1 – 3 days

1 x knowledge development, 1 x dive (Enriched Air / Nitrox Adventure dive), or 2 x knowledge development, 2 x dives (Enriched Air / Nitrox Speciality Course).

  As the name suggests, the air is enriched. Within the scuba cylinder, the normal gas percentages are 20.8% oxygen (O²), 79% nitrogen, and 0.2% other gases (compressed from the air we breathe every day). We normally say 21% O² and 79% nitrogen. As you have already learnt, the body’s ability to absorb and release nitrogen is what determines our bottom time in recreational no decompression diving, and is tracked through either dive tables and/or dive computers. By increasing the percentage of O² in the cylinder we therefore decrease the percentage of nitrogen. This has 2 effects. First creating safer diving when using normal tables / 21% O² dive computer algorithims with enriched air/nitrox. And secondly, allows for extended bottom times (up to certain depths) when using enriched air/nitrox tables and enriched air/nitrox capable dive computers. For recreational purposes, the mix never exceeds 40% O² (technical diving differs). The most common mixes are either 32% or 36% O², so much so that PADI provide tables for these in the PADI Enriched Air / Nitrox Speciality Course.
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The PADI Enriched Air/Nitrox Speciality Course involves some knowledge development and a little theory, an exam, hands on O² analysis of enriched air/nitrox in your cylinder, and then 2 dives using 32% and/or 36% enriched air/nitrox (we use 32% mix) under the supervision of a Speciality Instructor. All dives are boat dives to the outer wall. To benefit fully from the course, divers should have at least Deep Adventure or preferably Advanced Open Water certification, or it can be elected as a module in the PADI Advanced Open Water Course. Upon completion of the course, divers will receive PADI Enriched Air / Nitrox Speciality certification entitling them to use enriched air/nitrox any where in the world, and move a step closer to PADI Master Scuba Diver certification (see Courses / Diver Education page).
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Deep Speciality Course : 2 – 3 days

1 x knowledge development, 4 x dives. Learn to dive to 130ft, the maximum allowable depth for recreational divers. Grand Cayman’s fantastic year round 100ft +/- visibility and no current provide ideal conditions for deeper diving. The PADI Deep Speciality Course involves knowledge development and then 4 dives between 100ft to 130ft. Emphasis is placed on dive planning, narcosis awareness, and extra safety measures. Upon completion of the course, divers will receive PADI Deep Speciality certification enabling them to dive to 130ft, and move a step closer to PADI Maser Scuba Diver certification (see Courses / Diver Education page).
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