Before heading to Bonaire for a week of warm weather, sunshine and diving, we figured we would spend a few, cold Central PA winter hours obtaining our PADI Enriched Air Diver certifications. Enriched air fills were included in the price for our Bonaire trip, so we wanted to be able to take advantage of everything we paid for. (Sidenote: Despite my proclamation that I was done getting scuba certifications after getting my Advanced Open Water certification, here I was, again, getting another diving certification. I am officially a liar.)
Why did we decided to get our our Enriched Air Diver certifications before Bonaire? Simply put, nitrox – air with additional oxygen content – will allow us to enjoy longer bottom times (and shorter surface intervals) than air-breathing divers. Since we only have a week in Bonaire (this time anyway), we wanted to be able to see as much as possible during that week. And diving with enriched air will help. Enriched air is also said to help with feeling less post-dive fatigue, which will be nice, too!
The Enriched Air Diver certification was pretty simple and didn’t take that long at all. The manuals were a quick and easy read and provided short quizzes to make sure things were coming together the way they should be. At the end of the manual, there were a few open-ended, short answer questions. No problems there.
After the book work, we headed in to West Shore Scuba one evening after work for the classroom portion of the certification. We reviewed important concepts from the reading and got to do some hands-on tank analysis. After our three-person class was comfortable with the information and analyzing enriched air filled tanks, we took the final written test. And, just like that, we’re both PADI Enriched Air Divers and ready for a ton of great diving in Bonaire!