Calling all navigators

From Ocean Navigator #132
September/October 2003
Capt. Philip Van Horn Weems was one of the 20th century’s most avid navigators, contributing to air, land and sea navigation prolifically until his death in 1979 at the age of 90. Weems tutored Charles Lindbergh for the big hop across the pond; he developed the first Air Tables and what became known as the “short” method of navigation, which grew into, among other tomes, H.O. 249. He even came out of retirement in the 1960s to teach NASA astronauts about navigation in space. The company he founded, Weems & Plath of Annapolis, Md., is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, and in honor of the Old Man, they are holding a navigator’s contest.

Capt. Philip Van Horn Weems was an innovator of air and sea navigation.
   Image Credit: Weems & Plath

“We thought it was a great way to honor him and celebrate the last 75 years,” said Cathie Trogdon, Weems & Plath’s director of marketing.

Adventure in Navigation, cosponsored by BoatU.S., is an online test that will run for 75 days, beginning Sept. 16. The contest will feature multiple-choice navigation questions, including celestial and piloting problems, queries about famous explorers (Weems was involved, one way or another, in numerous Arctic expeditions), and basic Weems & Plath history. Six questions will be posted each Tuesday, and will remain posted on the site for the duration of the contest. Armchair navigators and bluewater voyagers alike are invited to participate. See (which includes a fascinating description of Capt. Weems’ innovations that will likely be a trove of info for contest participants) or for details.

Participants need to complete all questions and submit answers electronically by the end of November. The highest score will win a cruise aboard a Star Clipper ship; six runners-up will receive a Weems & Plath bell clock.

By Ocean Navigator