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Does Nitrox make my Butte look Big or make my dive safer?


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#31 drbill

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 12:57 PM

Strictly air for me due to my unpredictable depths as a human being! I'd be below most MOD's if I dove Nitrox... besides, the stuff costs $10-12 a tank and with the number of dives I do in a year, my bank would get quite upset about the missed mortgage payments (it would cost me $2,500-4,200 a year to dive Nitrox and my air is free).

Oh, and as for making your "butte" (and I thought that was a geological formation) bigger... it is quite true. The absorption of the extra nitrogen in your tissues inflates them and makes everything bigger, especially the faster absorbing tissues. Add the effect of enlargement due to your mask and it's a wonder you can even fit into the same wetsuit when you dive Nitrox!

#32 gcbryan

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 01:09 PM

If someone is that seasick they probably shouldn't be getting back in the water. If you are just sitting on a boat and are feeling ok and want to get back in the water early right where the boat is many captains will be ok with that. It's not Us VS Them.

I wasn't being litteral about Perrone never having been on a dive boat but Walter summed it up nicely.

Nitrox up here is around $12 but can be a bit lower if you use a Nitrox card. Air for me is free so the difference is $12. I did 200 dives last year. It adds up. Most dives around here start out deep so Nitrox is of less use. I don't know how deep at the time I'm getting my fills since I'm diving walls and not wrecks.

You will feel better with the proper profile on air or Nitrox so that's not a function of using Nitrox.

As someone else mentioned, the charter operator trying to get me into the water too fast on the surface interval is the one I want to avoid. Diving should be relaxing and unhurried.

#33 ScubaDadMiami

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 01:43 PM

I usually work it out so that if the boat is staying on the same site, my buddy and I can just do one long dive instead of a double dip. I think it is less taxing on the body overall this way (one long dive compared to two shorter ones with a short surface interval).

Some benefits: It gives us a long time on the bottom without a million divers in the water, while they are doing their surface interval. Also, it often works out so that I am getting out of the water while most of the divers are on the bottom, finishing up their second dive. This is great because it means that I won't have to be in the rush hour line of divers at 20 feet on the ascent line (if there is current). Second, getting out while the others are still on the bottom gives me time to get out of my gear and get things put away before the mass of divers is climbing onto the boat deck. (They are out of the water about 15 minutes behind me. So, I don't have to sit and wait for a long time for them to finish up.)

The only caution I would add about this practice is that you need to factor in things like current and tidal changes if you start pulling longer bottom times since you will have to sit in these conditions before surfacing after racking up some deco time. Obviously, don't attempt this if untrained and without applying proper rules of gas management.
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#34 WreckWench

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 02:08 PM

Surface Interval:

Unless you are diving shallow...a (1) hour surface interval is manditory and I prefer at least 1.5. In NC we give divers a min of 1.5 surface interval whenever possible. Again if you are diving shallow you will not need a SI of any measurable time. Most of the dives I've done in Florida especially the reef dives have been dive...get on boat...change tank...drink water...dive again. However when you dive deeper as I usually do...a minimum of (1) SI should be adhered too.

p.s. the rig dives are deeper dives so a minimum of (1) hour SI is very reasonable.


Boat Dictates:

Boat Capts usually know THEIR style of diving better than anyone...including the divers. Therefore they will do what is normal and customary and SAFE for their part of the world. Hence if they require a one hour SI then there is usually good reason. Now SOMETIMES larger boat operators or very small boat operators are more conservative or cautious. In that case the diver benefits the first time and then can decide if they want to dive with that operator again.

Nitrox Pricing:

In NC the price is $12 a fill....$18 for a rental. The price is high...but the value is worth it! On our Roatan trip the price of Nitrox for the week is $116. We have 3 boat dives for 5 days scheduled so that is $7.33 per tank fill which is a great price! Most nitrox fills I've seen in FL go for $9-10 each. So unless you buy the gas by the cubic foot...it is very expensive!


Varitey of Diving Experience and Advice:

Communities such as these are a wealth of information for diving experiences, advice, ideas, suggestions and helpful hints. Unfortunatley they can also get negative, ugly and condescending rather quickly and sometimes innocently. There are no stupid question in diving if you really want to know. This thread has led to lots of insight both with our newer divers and even with our more experienced divers. And it has opened us up to differences that occur in different parts of the country. Having had the wonderful opportunity to dive in many parts of the world, I find that almost 'nothing' can be taken for granted that it is the same everywhere else. For example when I was in Seattle doing some BEAUTIFUL PNW dives...they had a long piece of pvc tubing hanging down alongside the boat right above the water line next to the boat's ladder. For the longest time I had no idea what it was for...then I saw someone use it...they hung onto one end with both arms and lifted one fin out of the water onto the bar while the DM took their fin off and then lifted the other fin so the DM could do the same. Now it was easy for the diver to get back onto the boat. With all the neoprene and thick thermals that divers wear...they also need LOTS & LOTS of lead which makes it hard to get the fins on and off and back on the boat. This may be a regional practice or it may be that only of the boat operator we used...Bandito Charters who by the way was EXCELLENT!!! I do not know as I have only dove with Bandito. So if I made the conclusion that it was a regional practice or even a national practice...I'd be wrong on the 'national' front and who knows on the 'regional' front.

So unless you've dove all over in many types of environments etc....we should all be cautious when offering advice so as to not be dogmatic, or percived to be an expert when in fact we may not be. HOWEVER, we all do love input from everyone...it helps us all grow and be better more informed divers. :)

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#35 BradfordNC

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 03:04 PM

NC your looking at around $10 - $12 per tank (AL 80) for a nitrox fill.
no matter if its empty, quarter full or half full
OK, lets make a deal. If you stop telling me how to dive, I'll stop going down to the bus station at 2am to slap d***s out of your mouth.

#36 PerroneFord

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 03:09 PM

That is robbery. 300% markup or more.

#37 finGrabber

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 03:24 PM

That is robbery. 300% markup or more.


It is! and this cost is among the reasons I don't dive Nitrox in quarries

I was at a local quarry last weekend and did 6 dives on 2 full tanks of air...the fill cost was $5 per tank for air...if I had dove Nitrox, I'd have rented Nitrox tanks at $22 per tank for the weekend


and none of the dives exceeded 30 feet in depth so Nitrox wouldn't have been of great benefit to me

#38 BradfordNC

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 03:25 PM

I don't think it's strange to only have 2 sets of doubles. Lots of people down here don't have too many. I'll probably end up with 4. Two sets of AL80s, a set of 108s, and a set of 130s.


hate to shock ya, but the majority of divers don't own their own tanks.
let alone 2 sets of doubles.

That is robbery. 300% markup or more.


hmmm, no kidding.

but for the amount of diving most people do in a year, its a lot cheaper than owning your own compressor.
and safer than mixing it yourself, which also requires the compressor and storing O2 at the house.
which the majority of people just don't feel like going through the hassle just to save a couple bucks
OK, lets make a deal. If you stop telling me how to dive, I'll stop going down to the bus station at 2am to slap d***s out of your mouth.

#39 gcbryan

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 03:44 PM

The price is also a function of demand. Many shops don't have an optimal Nitrox setup and if they have to stop helping a customer who is looking at a $1500 drysuit to spend 15 minutes on a Nitrox fill you can see why the prices are high. Air fills are usually more automated in the sense that the shop employee can walk away while the tank is filling.

If you are in an area with many divers wanting Nitrox and just a few shops around then the price for a Nitrox fill will typically be a little lower.

Edited by gcbryan, 22 June 2006 - 04:33 PM.


#40 finGrabber

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 03:46 PM

That is true

and none of the quarries I did can fill Nitrox tanks, so the shops tend to be a little higher, I think

#41 Guest_TexasStarfish_*

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 04:00 PM

My dive shop back in CT supplied Nitrox. Really it was a pain to mix and took a long time. I definitely preferred filling the air banks. I understand why the shop's charge more, its a lot of time and attention from the person who is mixing.

But as for diving... I LOVE Nitrox. I noticed a huge difference when I was down in Costa Rica. I was exhausted after two dives on air. In the Bahamas I kept wanting to get back in the water for more. And as long as your not planning anything deeper than 110 ft, it works great.

I've worked in a dive shop and I'm an instructor, so I could preach for hours. But honestly for myself I do notice a difference.


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#42 Bubble2Bubble

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 04:47 PM

Thank You Everyone for contributing to this thread by keeping it alive and adding some real cool info into it. I am serious about this topic and by no way was I trolling or being a shock puppet about Nitrox.
I am a concerned diver that hopes nobody will misuse Nitrox or think itís a free ticket to dive without watching their profile, accents, and think that they would be immune to DCS by using it.
I still believing in the step by step progressive training in scuba and I think that a new diver or an not so new diver would be better served by taking a buoyancy class and maybe a equipment class and working on there SAC rate and just get overall comfortable in the water with there gear before doing a Nitrox class. I think when Nitrox becomes the Norm and not the Exception I will give it a try. I hope this thread continues with Pro and Con information. For example what would happen to a diver if accidentally the fill in there Nitrox tank was 50% Nitrox and 50% Air ?? and they didnít test it or have it tested with an analyzer. would the diver be able to tell, would it taste funny in there mouth ? what could possibly happen.

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#43 BradfordNC

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 05:11 PM

For example what would happen to a diver if accidentally the fill in there Nitrox tank was 50% Nitrox and 50% Air ?? and they didnít test it or have it tested with an analyzer. would the diver be able to tell, would it taste funny in there mouth ? what could possibly happen.


Mike,
it is the diver's responsibility to analize their breathing mix.

that said, if the diver were to use that mix, they wouldn't notice any difference.
it would breathe and taste the same as air.

as far as what could happen.
if the person did a dive to a depth which placed the partial pressure of the oxygen to above 1.6 then that person would risk a seizure or passing out due to oxygen toxicity. the danger in that is the reg falling out of their mouth and the diver could drown.

the other con to diving this mix would be the divers "oxygen clock" would run up a whole lot fast than if they were to use a leaner mix.

with such a high mix, the diver could only do a few dives a day, whereas a diver on plain air could dive a dozen times.
OK, lets make a deal. If you stop telling me how to dive, I'll stop going down to the bus station at 2am to slap d***s out of your mouth.

#44 PerroneFord

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 06:05 PM

50% Nitrox and 50% air? Assuming either common mix of nitrox, that would be a pretty lean fill. Maybe 24-26%?? Now if he had said half Oxygen and half air, I'd be really worried.

Who's a blender? Whats the result of mixing 40cuft of EAN36 and 40cuft of air?

#45 BradfordNC

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 06:14 PM

i understood the intent of Mike's question, he wasn't trying to be misleading or tricky.

the end result is the same
any mix, including air, has the same danger if the partial pressure of the oxygen is above 1.6

the only difference would be the depth at which a PPO2 of 1.6 is reached
OK, lets make a deal. If you stop telling me how to dive, I'll stop going down to the bus station at 2am to slap d***s out of your mouth.




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