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Hi,

I'm off on holiday in a few weeks and the liveaboard I'll be on will have Nitrox (EAN 32)available.

I am wondering whether it will be worth me doing the Nitrox course (PADI) while I am out there.  I won't have time to do a course in the UK before I go otherwise I would have looked at the TDI stuff.

The advantanges as far as I can see will be:

Less chance of DCS.

Longer (No-deco) bottom times.

Less surface interval time required.

As there will be the opportunity to do unlimited dives, it will probably be useful.  If I am assigned a buddy however, it might be that I have to stick with their schedule.

On the downside, it will cost £100 for the course plus about £50 for six days fills.

Anyone have any thoughts?
 

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Hi John,

You will probably get loads of replies to this question so I am glad I got in first!!!

The basic nitrox course is probably the best course you will ever do and totally worth the money.  As for the revelent agency to do it with "you pays yer money and take yer chance"

Both Fee and I did ours through PADI and thought it was great, we consequently went on and did the TDI Advanced nitrox and thought their training manual was a pile of shit.  As with all PADI course the manual is very user friendly, full of nice pics and the relevent info is placed in nice bite sized chunks.  Now the guy we did our course through (Barry Trickett down in Poole - bit of a plug for him) could also teach the TDI basic and advanced courses and felt that the PADI one was better.  Also when we did do the TDI advanced course we both felt we learnt very little extra apart from good quality dive planning.

Some people will say TDI or IANTD are the only way to go but I got in first so there :soapbox:

But to honest which ever you do you won't regret it.  Hope you have a great holiday.

Ian Daly
 

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Sorry Ian mate, I don't want to sound arsey but I'm afraid I'm going to have to differ entirely with you:  

Firstly, if you're going to do a nitrox course, I wouldn't settle for the basic one . My recommendation would be  do a combined basic/adv if you can, it's only a bit more effort.

I did both the BSAC Adv Nitrox and the TDI Adv nitrox last year and IMO both sets of manuals were very good, the BSAC one is very detailed, the TDI one is written in very clear plain English (in a surprisingly untechnical style and with a sense of humour too).

I can't comment on the PADI version  but I'd be extremely surprised if their manual were to impress me more, or equal to, the other two agencies materials.

Anyway it depends on which "track" you intend to follow, if you see yourself going on to become a PADI to-the-bone diver then do the padi one for consistency, but given the choice between the PADI and TDI course I'd pick TDI, it's  far more respected (all IMVHO of course).

The IANTD manual is extremely detailed, along the lines of a PhD thesis, so unless you're that scientifically inclined perhaps best to avoid that one.

Plus if you go for the TDI and choose to do it later here in the UK, you could opt to be trained by our very own YD diving deity Andy "Dalesdivers" Hayhurst, who's probably forgotten more than the average diver ever learns, and a thoroughly nice chap to boot too
Chee-az
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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I'm afraid, as I said, that I won't have time to do anything in the UK before I go.  My choice is simply to do the PADI course and enjoy the benefits this trip or put it off to some future date.  I think on balance I will probably do it.  Get the class work out of the way before the liveaboard leaves and do the 2 dives on board.  I checked and the cost is £72 for the course which ain't bad.
 

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Hi there,

You don't come across arsey at all Steve.  To each their own and all that jazz.  

If you are interested I can scan in the PADI enriched air manual and e-mail to you if you wish and you can have a look for yourself.  Well anyone can have it if they so wish.

Some of your points I do agree with;
"Firstly, if you're going to do a nitrox course, I wouldn't settle for the basic one . My recommendation would be  do a combined basic/adv if you can, it's only a bit more effort."

Very true, and would have done it myself if I had known that my diving was gonna go that way, I initially thought that I was gonna be a 0-30m type diver and would be content with a little extra bottom time.  Like you said, you have to make a decision about the direction of your diving.  This is very true otherwise your gonna spend a lot of money and not reap the benefit.  

Just out of interest why did you do both the BSAC and TDI advanced courses?  I am not a BSAC diver so I have no idea about the course or its content.

Thanks

Ian Daly
 

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Are you sure you will need it on a liveaboard?? I did one a month ago in sharm. 6 days diving, 4 dives a day of about an hour. Most deep with some shalowish ones for the night dive all on air. Im TDI nitrox certified and did only one nitrox dive the whole time. Didnt see the point as it didnt make that much difference. Warm water, good viz, etc. Felt fine at the end of each dive and day. yet I always use nitrox in cold england!

Doing all your dives on nitrox will cost you an extra £200!!!!!  Consider doing basic deco stops or long safety stops and ascending a metre a minute or slower from 5m up. Its what I did and it seemed to work.

Also the SI will be dictated by other air divers and the boat DM, besides, youll run out of air before bottom time on an ali 12l!

just my opinion and I say this bearing in mind I hardly ever now dive 21% in the uk!
 

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Hmm,

John Bantin reckoned in Diver that up to six dives a day would be possible on nitrox:

http://www.divernet.com/travel/04014oz.htm

The fills are 25 Aus dollars per day - less than £10 a day so £60 for the week, not £200.

You're right about the air consumption though - I'll be lucky to get 50 mins from a tank if the max depth is 30m.

The surface interval will be determined only by my buddy (and computer) as diving is unlimited.  Might have to see if the DM will come out with me as they will undoubtably be on Nitrox.

The other option of course is solo diving ;-)  They allow it after 100 dives, so I'm not quite there yet.  Not sure if I really fancy that anyway.
 

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hi john,

looks like you are coming down to Australia for your hols mate - good one, whereabouts ?

one teeny-weeny point.  Nitrox does NOT lower your suceptibility to DCS / AGE in any noticeable fashion.  The built in safety margins of diving air tables / computers using nitrox as a  back gas give you a more conservative profile (which i would strongly advise on a liveaboard anyway).  We have had numerous cases of divers being bent for all kinds of reasons, in water as shallow as 10 metres.

nitrox can make you feel less sleepy (though it hasnt been quantitatively proven yet), and it does allow you EITHER longer bottom times OR a built in safety margin, but i personally wouldnt go for longer bottom times AND more dives, you might end up pretzel-shaped.

make sure you are DAN insured over here as well.....

re: which nitrox course.  PADI is basically "do two dives on nitrox, and dont go too deep".  Great for the recreational diver who doesnt need to know the "why", but is only interested in the "how" (absolutely nothing wrong with it, my other half is like that !).  Adv EANx cant really teach you much more about nitrox, but it does teach you more about the "why".  I have done my IANTD Adv EANx course, and must say I feel a lot more confident / comfortable talking to people about nitrox diving and planning.

my 10 cents (petrol over here now just gone up to AUD&#361 per litre....its a bloody crime !)
 

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Hi,

I'll be landing in Sydney Feb 20th.  Planning to do Mike Ball liveaboard out of Cairns Cod Hole/Coral Sea/Yongala from Feb 27th to March 10th then back to Sydney departing March 20th.  Might do a bit around Sydney as well  - Jervis Bay perhaps.

What I am really after is more dives and a bigger safety margin.  Given my air consumption, my average dive time is 45 minutes for a dive to 28 metres with a steady gradual ascent.

I have insurance with Westfield:
http://www.divernet.com/westfield/travel.htm
That should cover it shouldn't it?

As far as the relative merits of courses go, at the moment it is simply PADI or not for this trip.  I'm a decent scientist and I already know a fair bit about it - partial pressures, oxygen toxicity etc.  
The reason I would consider the more advanced courses is for slightly deeper dives i.e. 40m to decrease the mandatory deco times.  At the moment though, I still have a lot to see down to 30m ;-)

Thanks for the views - where are you based anyway?
 

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i am based in melbourne at the moment - still, nice and warm !

water up near Cod Hole and Nthn QLD should be in the high 20's - this will extend your bottom time naturally anyway (compared to lovely warm UK waters...).  The weather topside is tropical, average of two rains a day (but still lovely and warm).  Also, liveaboards are so heavily regulated in Australia (due to the "sue 'em all" mentality over here) that you may find your bottom time dictated to you by the DM / Instructor. Not trying to sound smart, but Nitrox does not reduce the incidence or causation of DCS/AGE, dont rely on it to do so.

the insurance should be ok - O2 + Pot is very very expensive over here.

enjoy - if you dive New South Wales, try and head north a bit if you can.

cheers
 

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Cheers Ian , that's a very kind offer, yes I would certainly be interested in seeing the PADI nitrox manual, but it sounds like a lot of work for you though unless the manual is relatively brief.

My reasons for doing my first course (the BSAC one) as a combined basic/adv was that it wasn't going to cost very much extra (about £25-30, excl gas, IIRC) plus my attitude to life generally is "in for a penny, in for a pound".  I didn't view the two courses from a perspective of how deep I tend to dive, more a case of get the knowledge now so it's there when I want to use the more advanced aspects of it, which I intend to start doing more of this year (in fact I've promised myself to simply get out and dive more this year, bollocks to working weekends all the time like last year!)

Why did I do both BSAC & TDI courses ? Well, the first one was arranged while I was still diving with my old BSAC club and it was run by Graeme Bruce so it seemed a waste not to do both parts of it at that time under such illustious instructorship.

Later I stopped diving with that branch and started hanging around in 'cyberspace' with reprobates like Messrs. Tierney and Williamson, the TDI course came up and I thought it'd be a good time to hook up my my new "virtual dive buddies", plus I like the idea of getting as much varied training as possible (never having done any TDI stuff before), and again the course was beeing run by an instructor whose excellent reputation precedes them (Andy Dalesdiver), also the TDI Adv qualifies you to dive with up to 100% O2 whilst one of the criticisms frequently leveled against the BSAC course is that it limits you to 50% O2 mixes (you have to do the BSAC ERD in order to use 80% O2) so all in all it was too much of a good opportunity to pass up. Incidentally it was a great weekends diving with a great bunch of people which in itself was worth the course fees &  travelling etc.
Chee-az
Steve
 

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Hi John,
my tuppenorth'I did the IANTD basic and found that I had 1.55555% less IQ than the required standard, I just managed to scrape through, I then did the BSAC advanced to allow deco on 50% and wish I had gone straight for that.

I think most agencies are the same basic nitrox 40% no deco, advanced - deco with various percentages BSAC as Steve W said 50% not sure of the limits of others.

Apart from the max operating depth etc the only problem I have found is paying for fills


Safe diving,
Steve.
 

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Hello Yorkie Gone Under,
Not wishing to start an in depth one but, to quote you...

1st post
one teeny-weeny point.  Nitrox does NOT lower your suceptibility to DCS / AGE in any noticeable fashion.  The built in safety margins of diving air tables / computers using nitrox as a  back gas give you a more conservative profile (which i would strongly advise on a liveaboard anyway).  We have had numerous cases of divers being bent for all kinds of reasons, in water as shallow as 10 metres.

2nd Post
Not trying to sound smart, but Nitrox does not reduce the incidence or causation of DCS/AGE, dont rely on it to do so.

My Reply.
If you dive nitrox on air tables or air computer then you DO significantly reduce the risk of decompression sickness. Remember we are absorbing less nitrogen which is the important factor. If we do this we are diving much more conservatively !
Nitrox using EAD's are no more conservative, fair point to raise mate. Just thought I should put my oar in, not wanting to be argumentative, honest !!
 
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