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Fair Havens

Fair Havens was a harbor on the south coast of Crete. The town of Lasea was about 5 miles east. It was at Fair Havens that the Alexandrian ship on which the apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry) was a passenger / prisoner stopped briefly on the voyage to Rome. It was late in the season, with sailing becoming treacherous because of the weather, but as its name implies, Fair Havens lacked sufficient protection as a winter shelter, so it was decided to sail on to Phenice (also rendered as Phoenix by some translations), another south port of Crete and "there to winter." They never arrived; while attempting to skirt the coast from Fair Havens to Phenice, "there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon" that drove the ship out to sea. They were shipwrecked on Malta days later.

Paul's Journey To Rome

"a place which is called the Fair Havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea"

"And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band. And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us."

"And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself. And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein. And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone; And, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea."

"Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul. And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west." (Acts 27:1-12 KJV)

Fact Finder: How was it that Paul was being taken as a prisoner to Rome?
See Festus


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