Evaluate the dive conditions and talk to local divers/dive centers/fishermen. If the dive site is not favorable for local divers, don’t dive! Determine with your buddy or dive professional your safest entry and exit points—and alternatives—hand signals, buddy or dive professional separation contingency, maximum depth and time, and emergency safety plans. Discuss as much as possible about what you would like to do on the dive, so you will both get the maximum amount of fun together out of your dive. You are less likely to run into trouble if you follow the dive plan you discussed.
If you want to dive an area for the first time, book a dive with the local dive center or ask to join a local dive group. The information you’ll receive will be well worth it!