Fascinating. This out-of-context half-sentence (the original is "This gale continued till towards noon; when the east end of the island bore but a little ahead of us. The captain swsggered and declared he would keep the sea") is copied all over the internet. It seems to come from the 1913 Merriam-Webster, an out-of-copyright dictionary.
Bear (past tense bore) has a nautical meaning "(intransitive) to move, be located, or lie in a specified direction". Impossible to guess without the context.There are too many possible dictionary definitions to be helpful.
Edit: The half-sentence comes from the dictionary, used as an illustration of the meaning. The source of the full sentence from Fielding is given by velisarius below.
The sentence is from "Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon", by Henry Fielding, 1755. At this point he is telling the story of a kitten that fell overboard and was rescued by a sailor. The island is the Isle of Wight.