Dive Site Assessment
The first step of a dive plan is assessing the site and its conditions. If you have previous experience at the site, share your knowledge with your buddy. If you are new to the site, it's recommended you dive with an instructor, divemaster, or local diver who has experience at the site.
A site assessment includes identification of site characteristics such as depth, currents, hazards, entry and exit locations, destinations, and common marine life. You should also assess conditions such as visibility, currents, surf, surge, and water temperature. After assessing the site's characteristics and conditions, discuss how they will affect your dive plan.
It's important that the site assessment take place before you unpack and assemble your gear. This prevents the inconvenience of repacking your equipment in the event conditions are unfavorable. It also prevents divers from going forward with a potentially dangerous dive because they've already gone through the trouble of unpacking and assembling their equipment.