Planning your dive

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Updated: 4/18/2007 10:42 am Published: 4/18/2007 10:42 am

Proper planning helps to ensure a successful and enjoyable dive. It can also prevent disappointments due to misunderstandings, forgotten items, or poor conditions. When you plan a dive, try to plan it in four different stages: advance planning, preparation, last-minute preparation, and pre-dive planning. In the advanced planning stage, select your diving partner and determine your dive objective. By knowing your objective, you can choose a dive site, and an alternate site in case conditions do not allow you to dive at your first choice. Also, plan what time you are going to dive and how you are going to get there. In preparation, inspect your equipment and make a checklist so you do not forget anything. In last-minute preparation, get a current weather report, and file a dive plan with someone not accompanying you so they know where you are and when you plan to return. Pack all last minute items such as hats, jackets, and log books. Pack the items you will need first on the top of your pack for easy access. Pre-dive planning is the last step and should include an evaluation of your dive sight once you arrive. If the conditions are favorable, discuss entry and exit areas, dive routes, length of dive, hand signals, buddy system techniques, and what to do if you are separated. Finalize as many arrangements as possible since communication is easier before the dive. For more information about dive planning, contact a diving instructor or a professional diving retailer in your area.

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