You guys may be ovethinking all this. You are certainly making my head swim...
Certainly not the first time I've been guilty of that!
Rick I thought you had Navionics or any other program since you have your computer at the helm. It tell you tide and currents and vector arrows direction at specific spots along the way or even at your location...
Yes, I use OpenCPN both at home and at the helm. It's a fantastic tool, and predicts both tide levels and currents at all the NOAA sensors just by right-clicking on the chart. However, it defaults to showing a graph for the present day. In order to bring up the tidal current graph for a day 4 months in the future, I need to click the "Next" button ~120 times. And I need to redo that every time I bring up a different graph. (Maybe a different commercial package would do this better, but OpenCPN works perfectly for almost everything else that I do.) So the old fashioned current tables, whether Eldridge or NOAA, are the best thing I have right now for future planning.
As I already mentioned, this whole thing is a learning process for me, but one that is worth it because I expect to be making a lot more transits through the canal going forward, and the lunar calendar is rather predictable so I can leverage what I learn for many future trips.
...I know how to figure out with Eldridge and all, but in todays world where I know you are comptuer savy there is an easier more efficient less time consuming way.
Any route on the Delaware that lasts less than 5 hours is pretty simple to predict - just time it to stay in the favorable current. But when you go out for more then 5 hours (downriver) or 7 hours (upriver), planning becomes more difficult because you'll encounter a tidal swing during your trip. And turning into the canal makes it even more complicated because its ebb and flood are on a different timetable than Chesapeake or Delaware. That's why you (Dave) have to stop at Reedy Point every time on your way to the ocean, and why I suggested stopping off heading from Philly to Chesapeake. As you've noted before, going the opposite direction (ocean to Baltimore or Chesapeake to Philly) can be timed to proceed without a delay at the eastern end of the canal because the currents at the canal entrance are in sync with the river currents in that direction.
That complication is the reason I cobbled together a spreadsheet planning tool for the Philly-Chesapeake. I haven't seen another tool that does this.