By the time we reach Chapter Six in The Cay by Theodore Taylor, Phillip has been blind for several days. His other senses have begun to open up as is usually the case when people lose one of their senses. People who cannot see learn to rely on their hearing and their sense of touch much more than those who have sight. At the very beginning of Chapter Six, Taylor writes from Phillip's point of view:
"In the early morning (I knew it was early because the air was still cool and there was a dampness on the boards of the raft), I heard Timothy shout, 'I see an islan', true'" (Taylor 52).
So, despite not being able to see that it was morning, Phillip was able to use his sense of touch to feel that the boards on the raft were cool, which let him know that it was indeed early morning. Later, on the cay, Phillip learns to move across the land, first using a rope and eventually without it. He can feel the sun beating down, the rain when it falls, the wind blowing. He can hear the birds and other creatures. He learns to survive without the benefit of sight because he becomes more perceptive in other ways.