Phillip assumes that his father is looking for him, but what doesn't he understand?
In The Cay by Theodore Taylor, Phillip, Timothy, and Stew Cat become stranded on a small island after the ship they were on is torpedoed. Phillip assumes his father, who is still living on Curacao, will leave no stone unturned to find him. Phillip expects his father to show up at any minute to rescue him. What Phillip does not understand is that the island, or cay, where he and Timothy have landed is so small that it does not even have a name. It is also hidden back in what Timothy calls the Devil's Mouth and is very difficult to find. Of course Phillip's father is looking for him, but considering the torpedoed ship and everything surrounding the situation, most people think that Phillip is dead. When Phillip is finally rescued, he is given this information.
"There was still disbelief in his voice when he said he'd checked all the charts and publications on the bridge; our cay was so small that the charts wouldn't even dignify it with a name. But Timothy had been right. It was tucked back up in the Devil's Mouth" (Taylor 134).