An island off the SW coast of Crete passed by the apostle Paul and Luke on the voyage to Rome in about 58 C.E. Having lifted anchor at Fair Havens, their ship hugged the S coast of Crete until, likely after rounding Cape Matala, they were caught and driven by a tempestuous wind that could have forced the boat into the quicksands off the shores of North Africa. However, they came into the shelter of “a certain small island called Cauda” and the island’s position evidently broke the force of the wind, providing them smoother waters, likely along its SW shore. This gave the crew sufficient time to hoist in the skiff, undergird the boat, and lower its gear.—Ac 27:13-17.
The Cauda of Luke’s narrative is today called Gavdos, an island 11 km (7 mi) long by 5 km (3 mi) broad, lying about 65 km (40 mi) WSW of Fair Havens.