Get more time to dive
Ever wish you could dive just a little bit longer, but no deco limits get in the way? Get your nitrox certification through the PADI Enriched Air Diver course, and you’ll be a step closer to exploring the captivating world beneath the surface for as long as possible. This is PADI’s most popular specialty and in Roatan, it’s the best way to explore some of our most iconic sites. Read on to learn more about diving on nitrox and what you’ll learn through your nitrox certification in Roatan.
What’s the benefit of nitrox?
The true benefit of diving with nitrox is that it exposes you to less nitrogen than air for a given dive, which means you absorb less nitrogen in your soft tissues. This extends your no decompression limits, allowing for more bottom time. For instance, according to the Recreational Dive Planner, your allowable bottom time for a first dive at 80 feet on air, is 30 minutes. But on nitrox, you could stay at 80 feet for up to 55 minutes – assuming you have enough ‘gas in the tank’ of course! And you’ll further maximize your NDLs by using a computer which will take into account that you’re on a multi-level dive.
Less nitrogen absorption has additional benefits:
- You can shorten your surface interval time when diving dives of a typical duration
- You can reduce your risk of decompression sickness (DCS) when diving on an air profile. This is especially helpful for people who are diving multiple dives daily, whose general fitness level could be improved or who are at an age where circulatory systems naturally slow (65 and up).
While not scientifically proven, many divers swear that diving on nitrox gives them more energy than diving on air. When you’re trying to make the most of your vacation time, that’s not a bad reason to consider a nitrox certification!
While there’s almost always a benefit to diving on nitrox, there are certain divers who we highly recommend dive with it. See if you’re one of the 4 Types of Divers Who Should Be Diving Nitrox!
Why get your nitrox certification in Roatan
It’s smart to get your nitrox certification in Roatan because the cost is typically half of what you’ll pay in the United States, Canada and other countries. And it’s a great certification to get while on vacation because the PADI Enriched Air Diver course is just a couple hours of classroom time and does not require you to do any training dives. As a nitrox certified diver, you’ll have the ability to explore some of Roatan’s more advanced sites for longer. And when you do the course with Sun Divers, you’ll receive one free nitrox tank to get your nitrox diving started. You’ll also get a discounted rate when you bundle this course with your Open Water Diver or Advanced Open Water Diver certifications.
So, what is nitrox?
Regular air that we breathe on the surface, and that is typically in your scuba tank, consists of 21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen. Enriched Air Nitrox (or short EANx or just nitrox) is an enhanced breathing gas with a higher percentage of oxygen and a lower percentage of nitrogen than regular air. The most typically used enriched air blends are 32% and 36%, though the PADI Enriched Air Diver certification qualifies you to dive with a variety of blends up to 40%.
Can you dive deeper with a nitrox certification?
You cannot dive deeper on nitrox versus air. Nitrox helps to extend your no decompression limits (NDLs or no-stop time) when compared to air at a certain depth. But using nitrox does come with a Maximum Operating Depth (MOD) due to the increased risk of oxygen toxicity. The MOD is dependent upon the percentage of oxygen in the nitrox blend. However, you usually don’t exceed this limit in recreational deep diving. You will learn all about MODs during your Enriched Air Nitrox Specialty course.
Are there nitrox dives in Roatán?
Roatán does have dive sites that would be considered “nitrox dives”. This includes the amazing shipwrecks Odyssey and El Aguila. Both wrecks are located at a maximum depth of 110 feet / 33.5 meters, so be mindful of your MOD.
There is a deep plateau at the Texas dive site, located at the southern tip of Roatán that is also awesome to explore on nitrox. It’s one of the only spots in Roatan where you can find the rare Sargassum Triggerfish. This is an area where strong currents are prevalent, bringing an upwell of nutrients making this Roatán dive site known for being quite “fishy”.
On the hunt for lionfish? Diving on nitrox can also be helpful since these invasive fish tend to hang out in deeper waters. When hunting for lionfish on nitrox, you’ll have extra time to concentrate on your shot. If you don’t have a lionfish hunting license yet, you can get your lionfish hunting certification with the Roatan Marine Park in just one easy afternoon!
PADI Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver Certification
What You'll Learn
You’ll receive instruction and hands-on training that teaches you:
- How to safely plan and execute dives on enriched air (nitrox).
- How to use an O2 analyzer
- How to determine your max operating depth and no-deco limits on nitrox
- How to program your computer for nitrox dives and planning
Classroom-based instruction, one free nitrox fill and specialty certification processing
What You Achieve:
Specialty certification with the ability to safely plan and conduct nitrox dives. Counts toward one of five specialties required for Master Scuba Diver rating.
12 years or older, Open Water certification or enrolled in the PADI Open Water course.