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Worth using Nitrox for St. Croix diving?

Discussion in 'Lesser Antilles' started by FettSolo, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. FettSolo

    FettSolo Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lebanon, NH, USA
    261
    131
    Hey folks,

    Headed down to St. Croix in July for a couple days of diving. I'll be based out of Frederiksted, just a few blocks from the famous pier. My ideal dive plan is:

    Day 1: 2-tank morning boat dives, 2 pier dives later in the day
    Day 2: Same
    Day 3: Same
    Day 4: 1-2 pier dives

    Based on this rough plan, do you think it is worth diving Nitrox for my trip? It would be nice to save money and dive on air ($15 extra/tank for Nitrox), but it would be nice to not shortchange my diving in any way.

    I should also note that this is a purely diving trip on my own, so not opposed to long surface intervals.

    Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    18,295
    10,601
    what depths and times do you plan on running for each of those dives? 4 dives per day is a bit ballsy imho but an extra $15/tank is also quite a bit of money so you have to balance. If the pier dives are going to be less than 40ft, I definitely wouldn't use nitrox for the pier dives. If the first boat dives are going to be deeper than about 70ft, then I would consider it for the second boat dive. It's all about tapering your EAD's and making sure you are diving progressively shallower but without having any idea of depth/time profiles, there isn't much we can do to help you out with that.

    also important, which computer are you using and on what conservatism setting?
     
  3. FettSolo

    FettSolo Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lebanon, NH, USA
    261
    131
    From the local op I spoke to (N2theBlue), the morning boat dives tend to be an 80-90ft site followed by a 50ft (or less) one. Not sure what times they typically run.

    Sounds like pier dives are in the range of 25-40ft. Those would be on my own, so the time and depth would really be up to me.

    Off the top of my head, don't remember my computer model - will have to check at home this evening.
     
  4. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    18,295
    10,601
    what percentage of O2 do they have for nitrox?

    assuming EAN32, I'd probably use it on the first dive of the day, but that's it
     
  5. They call me Tater

    They call me Tater Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Wisconsin
    310
    156
    I wouldn't worry about the Nitrox. Most of the pier dives are 25-35'. Most of the west end boat dives run closer to 70' or less. Yes there are some deeper sites. If you dive nitrox it should be because you think you will feel less fatigue, your profile won't likely need it unless you want to go deeper and max out 90 minutes on each pier dive. Personal choice. Try one day without and then decide.

    The Pier is a great dive but 2 dives a day on it for 4 days, even if one is at night, may be a lot. If you get the chance it might be worth a couple of shore dives on the north shore at Cane Bay or Davis Bay to see the sharks.
     
  6. teknitroxdiver

    teknitroxdiver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Hudson Valley
    3,411
    298
    I really like nitrox, but man, $15 a tank is steep. @tbone1004 has a good suggestion to use it for one dive a day.
     
  7. guppyman

    guppyman Registered

    58
    30
    How's your air consumption? You don't need it for the pier. I didn't use that op for boat dives when I was there. However, I'm glad I used Nitrox on my boat dives. I was getting hour plus dives. Not sure I could have done that 4 dives a day without enriched air. If I was planning for long dive times, I'd splurge. That is steep though.
     
  8. FettSolo

    FettSolo Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lebanon, NH, USA
    261
    131
    What species of sharks are there around there? I was planning on not renting a car to save money (had my flights to/from the US and STT covered, so this is a relatively cheap trip), but I do love sharks...

    My air consumption is very good (not to brag, haha). I'm an athletic guy in his late 20s who does a lot of running, swimming, etc. so watching my air has never been an issue.
     
  9. They call me Tater

    They call me Tater Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Wisconsin
    310
    156
    There are usually a reef shark or two cruising the wall on the north shore and the diving is nice. You may be able to take a taxi or get a ride from a dive op but I've always rented a car. If you are staying on the cheap, it may not be worth it for you. The folks at N2theBlue are great and you will have a blast. I would Call Tim at Sweet Bottom to see if he has any ideas about getting you to Davis or Cane Bay but it may cost some $.

    Keep us posted on how it turns out and tell them some guy from Wisconsin sent you!
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
  10. guppyman

    guppyman Registered

    58
    30
    I agree. The wall dive is a must.

    I think the best advice given is to dive the first tank on Nitrox then switch to air. See how that works for you.
     

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