13 July Acts 27:7-20

13 July. A storm breaks and the crew fear they will die

"We sailed slowly for many days. We had a hard time reaching Cnidus [see 4 on the map on 7 July] because the [westerly] wind was blowing against us, and we could not go any further [due west]. So we [turned south and] sailed by the south side of the island of Crete near [Cape] Salmone [see 5 on the map]."

"Sailing past it was hard. Then we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea. We had lost much time, and it was now dangerous to sail, because it was already after the Day of Cleansing [the Jewish Festival of Yom Kippur]. So Paul warned them, 'Men, I can see there will be a lot of trouble on this trip. The ship, the cargo and even our lives may be lost'."

"But the captain and the owner of the ship did not agree with Paul, and the [Roman] officer believed what the captain and owner of the ship said. Since that harbour was not a good place for the ship to stay for the winter, most of the men decided that the ship should leave [Fair Havens]. They hoped we would go to Phoenix and stay there for the winter [see the map]. Phoenix, a city on the island of Crete, had a harbour which faced south-west and north-west [so was more sheltered]."

"When a good wind began to blow from the south, the men on the ship thought, 'This is the wind we wanted, and now we have it,' So they pulled up the anchor, and we sailed very close to [the south coast of] the island of Crete."

"But then a very strong [offshore] wind named the 'northeaster' came from the island. The ship was caught in it and could not sail against it. So we stopped trying and let the wind carry us [towards the south west, away from the coast of Crete]."

"When we went below [to the south of] a small island named Cauda, we were barely able to bring in the lifeboat [which was being towed at the stern]. After the men took the lifeboat in [to assist them], they tied ropes around the ship to hold it together. The men were afraid that the ship would hit the sandbanks of Syrtis [off the coast of Libya], so they lowered the sail and let the wind carry the ship."

"The next day the storm was blowing us so hard that the men threw out some of the cargo [to lighten the ship so it would sail higher in the water and not be swamped by the waves]. A day later with their own hands they threw out the ship's [heavy lifting] equipment. When we could not see the sun or the stars for many days, and the storm was very bad, we lost all hope of being saved."

          (Acts 27:7-20)



Tacking against the westerly wind, the ship made slow headway along the south coast of Lycia, but eventually arrived off Cnidus (the Turkish port of Knidos) (see 4 on the map). They then headed south across the Mediterranean Sea, sailed past Cape Salmone and along the south coast of Crete where it was more sheltered (see 5 on the map).

With some difficulty, they anchored at Fair Havens – today the tiny, remote fishing harbour of Kali Limenes near Lasea, accessible only by sea or by a steep track from the cliff top.

It was already getting late in the Mediterranean sailing season (traditionally from 10th March to 11th November) and the Jewish Festival of Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) held in late September or early October had already passed, so Paul was in favour of wintering at Fair Havens.

But the Roman centurion and the ship's owner wanted to sail further along the coast to Phoenix where the larger and more accessible ancient harbour at modern-day Lautro, west of Hora Sfakion, was better protected from winter storms.

So they set out along the southern coast of Crete (see 6 on the map). Before long, however, a hurricane-force wind from the north east drove them out to sea.

South of the island of Cauda, they lowered the sail completely and let the ship run with the storm. They dragged the heavy anchor behind them to stop the ship from running onto the sandbanks of Syrtis off the coast of Libya (see 6 on the map).

By the second day of the storm, the ship was suffering a violent battering and was beginning to be swamped by water. So the crew began to lighten the ship by throwing some of the heavy clay amphorae containing grain overboard.

On the third day, the ship was getting so low in the water that the crew jettisoned the heavy tackle used for raising the mainsail. At this point, the crew begin to give up all hope of riding out the storm.

The photo shows the south coast of Crete near Kali Limenes.

You can find out what happened next tomorrow or @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/12-p…/paul-is-shipwrecked/.

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