Acts 27:28

They sounded (bolisante). First aorist active participle of bolizw rare verb only here and in Eustathius who says it was familiar in ancient Greek. Apparently from boli, a missile or dart, and so to throw down the lead into the sea, to heave the lead, to take soundings. The inscriptions give bolimo for "leaden." Twenty fathoms (orguia eikosi). This old word, from oregw, to stretch, means the distance from one outstretched middle finger tip to the other likewise out-stretched. After a little space (bracu diasthsante). Literally, "standing apart a little" (second aorist active participle of diisthmi), that is, the ship going a short distance further on. A ship today approaching St. Paul's Bay by the rocky point of Koura would pass first twenty, then fifteen fathoms (Furneaux).