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Are you traveling to Wadi Rum, Petra or Amman after diving?

There has always been a problem in what to recommend to divers when traveling to altitude after diving to continue with their holiday plans and see as much of Jordan as they can while they are here. In the past dive centres have all varied in their response on this either erring on the more conservative approach and quoting flying after diving rules or going the other way and saying it doesn't matter if you are not flying. We at Dive Aqaba take this seriously and have come up with some guidelines based on National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Association tables. Logically it will be different depending on the dives you have done this is the first time a sensible variable recommendation has been made in Aqaba. Let's take the worst case scenario for recreational diving, using the PADI RDP you end up in pressure group Z - one hour from surfacing you are in pressure group K which means you can travel to Petra, Amman or Wadi Rum with no problem. Ergo it takes 1 hour to return to Aqaba harbour by boat - so no problem!
Ending pressure group on the PADI RDP after the last dive K P R U W Y Z
Time to stay in Aqaba after diving before going to Wadi Rum (900m) 0 hrs
0 hrs
1 hr
31 mins
3 hrs
20 mins
4 hrs
57 mins
6 hrs
25 mins
7 hrs
46 mins
Time to stay in Aqaba after diving before going to Petra or Amman (1200m) 0 hrs
1 hrs
3 hrs
26 mins
5 hrs
15 mins
6 hrs
52 mins
8 hrs
20 mins
9 hrs
41 mins

These times are based on NOAA recommendations (based on US Navy Tables, pressure groups have been recalculated for the RDP). Using Nitrox and high Oxygen mixes on decompression dives also lessens the problem. Dive Aqaba recommends a minimum wait of 18 hours before flying after diving.

Rod Abbotson - PADI Course Director / DSAT Tec Trimix Instructor Trainer