They knew not (ouk epeginwskon). Imperfect active of epiginwskw, to recognize. Probably conative, tried to recognize and could not (Conybeare and Howson). The island was well-known ( Luke 28:1 , epegnwmen), but St. Paul's Bay where the wreck took place was some distance from the main harbour (Valetta) of Melita (Malta). They perceived (katenooun). Imperfect active of katanoew, gradually perceived after some effort as in Luke 11:16 . This beach seemed their only hope. They took counsel (ebouleuonto). Imperfect middle showing the process of deliberation and doubt. The bay "having a beach" (econta aigialon) is a phrase found in Xenophon's Anabasis VI. 4, 4. Whether they could drive (ei dunainto ekswsai). This use of the optative with ei in questions of this sort (implied indirect) is a neat Greek idiom (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1021). B C Bohairic read ekswsai (first aorist active infinitive of ekswzw), to save out (so Westcott and Hort), instead of exwsai (from exwqew, to push out, as Textus Receptus).