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TideFinder Logo

TideFinder and TideCal are both tide search programs based on the GPL licensed XTide software which is distributed by FlaterCo at their website. Most tide programs give you all the high and low tides, along with other information about sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset and the phase of the moon. While these are useful, this means you have to wade through tables and numbers to find the information you need.

Both TideFinder and TideCal let you find the tides you are interested. If you are a boater, and want a high tide for making a certain passage, then search for that high tide. If you are a hiker, and want a low tide for exploring tide pools, then search for that low tide. Both programs use the tide/xtide software to compute the tides and other information. TideFinder lets you select periods of tide coverage by duration and presents the results of its search directly. TideCal does simpler tide filtering, but it produces a file, suitable for use with iCal or Palm Desktop, that contains the tide information that you want.

Suppose you want to hike to the lighthouse at Dungeness Spit on the North Olympic Peninsula. The walk can be difficult when the tides are high. There isn't much beach, and what beach there is will be rocky and hard going. The round trip walk takes at least three hours, and usually closer to four. If you want to reach the lighthouse around low tide, you have to start an hour and a half to two hours before low tide. You may also have other constraints, like driving time or dinner engagements.

The traditional way to pick a good day to try for the hike is to scan the tide tables looking for a low tide in the late morning or early afternoon. This can be tedious. Tide tables are boring. Computers should save you work, not give you work.


TideFinder lets you choose a location and set the desired high and low tide limits that you wish to find during a particular time of day. So, if you want low tides for a hike or to explore tide pools, or if you want high tides so you can safely navigate, you can simply specify tide heights in feet and when you want them. Then, tell Tide Finder to search the tides over a range of days and show you the tides it found. For more on how to use the program, check the Tide Finder documentation.

To download the TideFinder program, click here. The zip file is about 5 MB and includes TideFinder, tide (a text version of xtide) and hamonics.tcd from a recent version of XTide. (If you are using an older PowerPC based Mac, use this version of TideFinder instead.)


TideCal lets you choose a location and a time period. The tide program computes the high and low tides, the moon phases and the rise and set time of the sun and moon. You can include any type of these events in the generated calendar file. In addition, you can put constraints on the tides that should be included, specifying a height range and a time of day range. If you are a smuggler and want to land on the rocky shore after midnight, or if you fond of clamming, you can have the information you need on your computerized calendar. For more information on how this works, check the TideCal documentation.

To download the TideCal program, click here. The zip file is about 5MB and includes TideCal, tide (a text version of xtide) and hamonics.tcd from a recent version XTide. (If you are running on a PowerPC based Mac, please use this version of TideCal instead.)

If you would like the source code and official distribution of XTide, check out FlaterCo.

Remember, time and tide wait for no man.

Sunrise Sunset

For those who would just like to throw together an iCal calendar with sunrise and sunset events, you can download a much simpler program, SunriseSunset by clicking here. This uses a simple astronomical algorithm for computing sunrise and sunset and does not include the XTide software.

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