Acts 27:11-15
Acts 27:11 (KJB)
Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.
The centurion discussed it with the captain of the ship and the pilot of the ship and they assured the centurion that it would be fine to sail and that there is nothing to the words of Paul. This ship was probably part of the fleet which brought wheat from Alexandria on its way to Italy. Most of these ships were very large for that time. Some were about 180 feet (55 m) long and 45 feet (14 m) wide. So they probably looked at the size of the ships and saw that the Mediterranean was calm so they proceeded to go ahead with their plans and set sail at the right time. By now Julius should have known that Paul would not make a statement like that unless he has good reason.
Acts 27:12 (KJB)
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.
Not commodious - Not Useful, unsuitable, or not well placed
Since the harbor at Fair Havens was not a good harbor to winter a vessel in, the consensus believed that they needed to depart from there and go to Phenice which was the town of Phoenix located on the southwest part of the island. It would have been about a 45 mile (72 km) trip from harbor to harbor. They would make that short trek and then they would winter the vessel there until the sailing became safe again. If they were carrying tons of wheat and some of those ships carried as much as 1,200 tons (1,088,640 kg), then they had to concern themselves with the weight of the ship and the safety of the cargo, so a good and safe harbor was their concern at this time.
Acts 27:13 (KJB)
And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete.
As they had set sail, the south wind was blowing very gently and because of this they though that they had a good sailing trip ahead and that they would make the trek to Phenice without any incidents and then winter the ship there. To maintain the safety, they had sailed close to Crete by sailing the coast line and this way they would not lose of it and it would give landmarks as to how far they would have to go.
Acts 27:14 (KJB)
But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.
Tempestuous - Like a hurricane or typhoon-like wind, stormy
As usual when good counsel is avoided and people think that they have gotten their way, it is not to long after the good counsel is rejected that reality begins to set in. It was not long after they set sail that a tempestuous wind formed. These types of sudden storms are not strange to the Mediterranean. The storm which formed was a powerful one like a hurricane. The name that sailors had given to it was Euroclydon. Euroclydon was a word developed by the sailors and it means “violent northeast wind.” Another Greek spelling for it is “Eurocludon” which means “the wind that stirs up broad waves.” Whatever you want to call it, it was a sudden violent storm.
Acts 27:15 (KJB)
And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.
Caught - Seized
The storm had become so strong that it actually seized the ship. It had pulled the ship out of the direction it was going toward Phenice and off course. The sailors had probably tried the best they could to get the ship back on course but the storm was so strong that it was impossible for them to do it so they had no alternative but to let the sea guide the ship and maybe they could ride out the storm without any damage to the ship or cargo. The ship must have become like a cork on the water being driven to and fro with ferocity.