a great ship's kettle of iron

waiphyo

Senior Member
singapore
"There was a porch at the door, and under basin of a rather odd kind_ no other than a great ship's kettle of iron, with the bottom knocked out, and sunk "to her bearings," as the captain said, among the sand.
I don't understand bold context.Please explain to me.
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Please tell us where you found this sentence, waiphyo. Some context would also be helpful. What is going on in the story?
     

    waiphyo

    Senior Member
    singapore
    This is from 'treasure island' novel. Jim talked about the log-house and its decorations.
    In first sentence,he said,"The log-house was made of unsquared trunks of pine_roof,walls,and floor."
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    It will be easier for us to answer your questions if you quote the entire sentence. Here it is:

    There was a porch at the door, and under this porch the little spring welled up into an artificial basin of a rather odd kind -- no other than a great ship's kettle of iron, with the bottom knocked out, and sunk "to her bearings," as the captain said, among the sand.

    Source: Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    You can copy and paste if you use the copy of the book available at this URL and then we won't have to worry about typing problems:
    Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson

    The log-house was made of unsquared trunks of pine—roof, walls, and floor. The latter stood in several places as much as a foot or a foot and a half above the surface of the sand. There was a porch at the door, and under this porch the little spring welled up into an artificial basin of a rather odd kind—no other than a great ship's kettle of iron, with the bottom knocked out, and sunk "to her bearings," as the captain said, among the sand.
    The water of the well went into a container made from a large iron kettle which a had been buried in the sand to a depth that a ship's captain would refer to as up to "its bearings" - probably up to where the handle would be attached.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    In the meaning used, a kettle is a large iron cauldron. (And I suspect that "bearings" means "handles".)



    The usual (and current) meaning is a small kettle that has a very wide base.
    A ship's kettle:

     
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