La Jolla harbors a unique dive spot known as "Tombstones," accessible from Boomers near the Cove. Divers venturing out to the kelp may encounter peculiar concrete blocks and rock arrangements within a specific reef area. These serve as memorials for departed divers, their origins shrouded in mystery, with some names faded and others still legible. The precise location and details of these memorials have been closely guarded for years.

The Story of Tombstones

The lore of Tombstones dates back to a meeting with Wally Potts, a seasoned diver. As he shared tales of his exploits, he expressed a wish for a memorial marker at this site. Following his passing, the tradition of honoring freedivers with memorials in this La Jolla reef was uncovered, involving markers ranging from simple stones to bronze plaques. This practice honors the memory and contributions of the freediving community.

We Freedivers Continue the Tradition


Upon discovering these memorials, divers are urged to show respect, reflect on the legacy of the divers commemorated, and maintain the markers for future generations. This respect extends to cleaning and preserving the markers, often obscured by marine growth or sand.


Placing markers at Tombstones follows specific traditions to honor the deceased. This includes personal connections, sharing memories, a toast with the deceased's favorite drink, and a ritual offering of food or drink to the sea. The ceremony also involves caring for existing memorials.

Please observe these traditions!


The Tombstones site is located in about 35 feet of water, approximately 150 yards off Boomers, outside the current reserve boundary. These memorials serve as a poignant reminder of the diving community's heritage and the individuals who have shaped it.