Variations on the Nitrox theme


Great Dive Trips at Bargain Prices with the Sea Divers

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Posted by Karl S. on January 18, 2003 at 14:44:10:

In Reply to: Reef Seekers No Nitrox Policy Reasoning? posted by KevinH2O on January 17, 2003 at 18:11:00:

I went back to diving primarily with Air21 myself for the following reasons.

1) The main benefits of EANx are manifested during diving in the range of 75 to 100 fsw and using EANx to offgass from really deep tech dives.

2) You can sling a 20 or 30 or 40 or 65 cu ft pony/stage tank with EAN36 in it, and use that during the egression phase of any air dive, and obtain most of the benefits of EANx diving.

Most of the really beautiful diving on any reef is normally in the 30 to 50 fsw range. At those depths, you dont benefit much from EANx.

Slinging a stage tank with EAN36 in it gives you gear redundancy, gas redundancy, and extends your range while diving. It also allows you to set your air reserve to 750 psi, while you egress off your EANx tank.

Diving with air while slinging an EANx stage tank allows you the option to drop down to, say, 150 fsw (if youre trained in extended range), if there is something particularly interesting on a given reef that you want to see. If EAN36 is your primary gas, then you cant do that, nor if EAN32 is your primary gas.

On a dive charter, I bring my own stage tank with EAN36 in it. I sling it, and use two of the boat's air tanks for the dive. I breath the EANx tank down half way during the egression from the first dive, and use the rest of it the same way on the second dive. I keep a 750 psi reserve in my air tank, in case I have to go back to air due to a failure of some kind of the EANx tank.

For beach diving, I will usually dive the first dive with air alone, and the second dive with EAN36 in the tank, staying shallow on the second dive to treat it as an offgassing dive of sorts. For beach diving, I only bring a 13 cu ft pony with air in it. Dont want to lug a ton of gear across the beach and out again.

So even with the way I dive, there are times for EANx. But not on a boat charter dive, with my system.

If a dive store has no demand for the technical gasses like EANx, Trimix, Argon, etc. then I can see why making the financial investment in the banks and the equipment would be viewed as undesirable by a shop owner.

In a perfect world, every dive store would offer EANx, Trimix, Argon, etc in addition to just air. But in the real world, dive operators have to draw the line somewhere.

There are two really good NAUI tech dive stores in SoCal: one in San Diego Co and the other in Orange Co. That is where I would go to get my EANx and Argon and Trimix, when I needed it. That would not preclude me from booking a dive or trip with Ken's store, but I would bring my own EANx with me.

Everybody dives differently. People diving strictly with air just need to dive more conservatively than divers who have EANx available. People diving strictly with EANx need to keep their depths more conservative, but can then stay in the water a little longer. There are trade-offs either way.


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