Maritime Lecture Series: Caught in the Vortex: The Armistice Day Storm of 1940

The Michigan Maritime Museum’s Maritime Lecture Series will kick off with author and shipwreck explorer Valerie van Heest on November 14th from 6:30pm-7:30pm. Director of Education Ashley Deming comments, “We’re thrilled to have Ms. Van Heest here again. She’s a very engaging speaker and has a real connection to her topics.” Join the Museum as van Heest commemorates the tragic Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940 in which five ships and 64 sailors were lost. She examines the wrecks of the NovadocAnna Minch, and William B. Davock, all lost off West Michigan, providing insight into what caused these massive freighters to sink when others survived the storm.  She also helps the sons of two Davock victims say a final goodbye to their fathers.  “It will be moving for me to present this program so near to the 78th anniversary of this tragic accident just as the gales of November blow in,” says van Heest.

An inductee in the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame, Valerie van Heest is an award-winning author and museum exhibit designer who has been honored by the Historical Society of Michigan and Association for Great Lakes Maritime History for her work in preserving and promoting Michigan’s submerged maritime history. She is a co-founder and president of the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association (MSRA) and has been involved in the discovery of over some twenty shipwrecks, many of which have been subjects in her books. Valerie writes for a variety of magazines, has appeared on CNN, the Discovery and Travel Channels, and National Geographic, and maintains a busy speaking schedule.

Admission is $8, $7 for seniors.  There is no admission fee for Museum members. The Museum will be open beginning at noon the day of the lecture and 10am-5pm Fridays and Saturdays the month of November. For more information, contact the Museum at 269-637-8078 or visit