We have a wide variety of dive locations for technical diving expeditions.
Learning to dive safely with Nitrox used to be thought of as more of a gateway to technical diving than anything else, something of a fringe activity. Since its introduction though, Nitrox diving quickly established itself in the mainstream recreational realm. With very good reason too, diving with nitrox gives huge benefits in terms of bottom time, especially in the 20-35m range where all too often divers run low on do decompression time way before their air supply runs low. Why wouldn’t you dive nitrox becomes the question?
Nitrox is often misinterpreted as a deep diving gas. Not actually so, it has shallower usable ranges than air, ( though it is used as a decompression gas on ascent from deep technical dives ).
Safety is contested too. Statistics tend to be used to show that it’s not any “safer�? than air. However the reported decompression sickness occurrence with air diving is so low that it is just difficult to show meaningful improvements. Nitrox though has a marked tendency to cause less post dive fatigue, and has no decompression limits often so long that it is impossible to approach them in actual diving. Without doubt, breathing nitrox can make your dives substantially more conservative, a safety aspect not to be ignored.
Documented use of Nitrox goes back at least as far as 1879, when diver Alexander Lambert was sent into a flooded section of the River Severn Railway Tunnel to fix a stuck valve. Whatever he did would probably be considered highly unsafe nowadays, but over time, commercial and military users have clearly established what we can, and can not, do with Nitrox.
1985 saw the formation of the International Association Of Nitrox Divers ( later to become IANTD ) and the first training for recreational divers delivered to the Florida wreck diving community under Dick Rutkowski. PADI ( Professional Association of Diving Instructors ) eyed this for a while and by 1995 deemed the voodoo gas safe enough for them to launch their own Enriched Air Nitrox Diver program. Things obviously never looked back, Nitrox is now almost everywhere, not just in the Philippines.
The theory behind nitrox is simple. Air is 21% oxygen, 79% nitrogen. You could call it Nitrox 21. When we dive, the nitrogen is absorbed into our tissues, and has to be offgassed as we ascend to avoid bubble formation and decompression sickness. Nitrox contains less nitrogen by percentage, so that at any given depth we absorb less of it over time. Therefore it takes longer to reach our no-decompression limits at that depth compared to air and our available bottom time is extended. Nothing comes for free however, and the trade off to reduced nitrogen is increased oxygen percentage. While not a factor in decompression sickness, it does become toxic under pressure.
During Nitrox training the diver learns to analyse his or her gas, determine a maximum depth to which it can be dived, and then plan a dive within well established and very safe parameters. One or two equipment issues are addressed but the primary goal is to show the diver how to safely enjoy the full benefits of nitrox.
If you are making the effort to travel hundreds, if not thousands of miles to your chosen dive destination, and pay out hard earned cash for the experience of being underwater, why on earth wouldn't you go that little extra distance to put nitrox in your tank and as much as double your bottom time?
Asia Divers provides full PADI certification for the purely recreationally minded diver, and after you complete your course you'll be able to dive with enriched air worldwide. Tech Asia provides IANTD certifications for the diver who has their eye on more advanced and technical forms of diving, which of course are available right here with us in Puerto Galera.
There are many places in the world where you can train or dive with Nitrox, so it would be reasonable to ask why should you come to the Philippines?
Like to go diving where the water is a constant 25 - 29C? Then come to the Philippines.
Would you like to be diving where the usual visibility is 30 -40 meters? Then come to the Philippines.
Asia Divers and our Tech Diving Institute is situated right in the middle of a biodiversity hot spot, the renowned Verde Island passage, and our local waters form a protected marine reserve. What you can see on a holiday here can defy description, pods of dolphins to pygmy sea horses, mola mola to mandarin fish...there's no end to the surprises our waters offer.
Links to more pages about Nitrox and Trimix diving in the Philippines