When to Use Nitrox in Maui

Have you ever had to end a dive because you ran short of no-decompression time, but still had plenty of air in your tank? If so, Nitrox is for you!

The reason Nitrox (also known as enriched air) helps divers stay down longer is that this particular blend of breathing gas contains more oxygen than what we breathe in regular air. The normal air we breathe has approximately 21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen. As you learned in your Open Water Diver Certification course, nitrogen loading is what determines our no-decompression dive time. By adding more oxygen to the mix, we reduce the amount of nitrogen, thus we gain longer no-decompression time limits!

Maui Dreams and the Maui Diamond II offer several diving situations that are perfect for Nitrox use!

During these dives many divers may (and do!) run up against the no-decompression time limit before they reach their air-time limit. This is where Nitrox comes in!

The Helldiver Plane Wreck at 50 feed deep and Triple Anchors at 60 feet deep are two ”square profile” dives (where you drop to a single depth and spend your entire dive there) that we usually do on the same charter. These are awesome World War II era sites that offer a unique look into history. Nitrox may nearly double your bottom time on the second dive!

Another wreck that we enjoy visiting is the Carthaginian, which sits at 100 feet deep. We like to time our dive there around the visit of the Atlantis Submarine and have a little fun hamming it up for the photographers onboard! According to the PADI Recreational Dive Planner, at 90 feet of depth, breathing regular air allows approximately 25 minutes bottom time, but 32% Nitrox brings that time up to 35 minutes! Ten minutes makes a lot of difference on a dive like that.

For Advanced Divers, we offer a Molokini Double Backwall dive experience. The Backwall is considered one of the top wall dives in the world. I describe it as a wall of the Grand Canyon underwater! These dives are generally multi-level dives starting at around 80-90 feet of depth. Again, Nitrox can extend your allowable bottom time so you can enjoy more of this pelagic wonderland.

Yet another great use for Nitrox is on our Scooooooter Dives when we go out to the St. Anthony Wreck, followed by Z-Blocks for our second dive. Our guides lead many of these awesome excursions and tell me that without Nitrox, the dives end sooner because of no-decompression limits. When the divers use Nitrox, the bottom times are extended, and the divers leave the site based on air consumption not time limitations.

To make the most of these fabulous diving experiences be sure to ask for Nitrox when you book your trip! If you are not yet Nitrox certified we can fix that too! Check out our PADI Enriched Air Nitrox Certification online training by clicking here.  Once you’ve completed the eLearning portion, we can complete your certification in a one hour session at the shop any afternoon of the week!

In the meantime, we’d love to hear about YOUR experiences using Nitrox – please feel free to share them below in the comments section!

Aloha, Teri