Sea Crates (also known as Block It Out, Ferryman, and Block in a Hard Place) is a recurring mental challenge in Survivor.


Castaways must retrieve four large crates (when used as a tribal challenge) or small blocks (when used as an individual challenge), each with a different color on each side. Once all four crates are retrieved, the crates must be stacked so that one color does not show more than once on each column. The first tribe to complete the puzzle wins.

The method of retrieving the crates/blocks has varied between each appearance of the challenge.


In Samoa, the challenge was used as a combined Reward/Immunity Challenge. A pair of castaways from each tribe would swim out into the ocean to retrieve one a crate. Between the beach and crates would be a "battle zone" marked off by four flags. Within this zone, an opposing tribe member would try to prevent the two castaways from crossing the zone and reaching the crate. Once the two castaways crossed the zone, they would bring a crate back to the beach, and a second pair of castaways would go out to retrieve another crate. Galu were able to get their members across the battle zone faster than Foa Foa and never lost their lead, winning reward and immunity and sending Foa Foa back to Tribal Council.

In South Pacific, the challenge was used as a Redemption Island duel. Castaways must solve a slide puzzle to release a hatchet and cut a rope which would drop a bag with their colored blocks. Ozzy Lusth took an early lead, though Edna Ma was able to catch up to him after receiving verbal assistance from the other castaways. Despite this, Ozzy was able to solve the puzzle first, eliminating Edna from the game.

The challenge was again used in Blood vs. Water as a Redemption Island duel again, wherein castaways had to bounce the blocks along a rope tunnel to retrieve them. After Laura Morett finished first, Vytas Baskauskas attempted to copy her finished puzzle. However, Laura prevented him from doing so and verbally assisted Tina Wesson in completing her puzzle seconds before Vytas, eliminating Vytas from the game.

The challenge appeared as a post-merge Reward Challenge in Cambodia, where the castaways had to paddle boats to retrieve four colored crates. The magenta team had trouble paddling their boat, giving the green team a head start on their puzzle. Ultimately, the green team of Ciera Eastin, Joe Anglim, Keith Nale, Kelley Wentworth, Kelly Wiglesworth, and Kimmi Kappenberg solved their puzzle first to win reward.

In Millennials vs. Gen X, the challenge was again used as a Reward Challenge, wherein a random draw resulted in Jay Starrett not being placed on either team. Each team would swim to their raft, which was attached to a rope. They then used the rope to pull their raft to a station, where they had to take turns collecting five keys, sliding down a pole, and placing them on a keyring on the beach. They then had to take turns using the keys to unlock each of the four crates. Although steadily falling behind throughout the course, the purple team of Adam Klein, Bret LaBelle, Hannah Shapiro, Sunday Burquest, and Zeke Smith caught up with the orange team on the puzzle portion and won reward.

In Winners at War, the challenge was used as the first Immunity Challenge after the Tribe Switch. Each tribe had to go over and under a series of obstacles, then throw sandbags to knock over blocks and their four large crates off a ledge. Yara led heading into the puzzle portion, but were unable to solve their puzzle, allowing Sele, then Dakal, to finish and win immunity, sending Yara to Tribal Council.


Episode Challenge Type Winner
"It's Called a Russell Seed"
Tribal Reward/Immunity S19 brett tS19 dave tS19 erik t
S19 john tS19 kelly tS19 laura tS19 monica t
S19 russells tS19 shambo tS19 yasmin t
South Pacific
"Then There Were Five"
Duel S23 ozzy t
Ozzy Lusth
Blood vs. Water
"Gloves Come Off"
Duel S27 lauram t
Laura Morett
S27 tina t
Tina Wesson
"You Call, We'll Haul"
Team Reward S31 ciera tS31 joe tS31 keith t
S31 kelley tS31 kelly tS31 kimmi t
Ciera, Joe, Keith, Kelley, Kelly, & Kimmi
Millennials vs. Gen X
"Million Dollar Gamble"
Team Reward S33 adam tS33 bret t
S33 hannah tS33 sunday tS33 zeke t
Adam, Bret, Hannah, Sunday, & Zeke
Winners at War
"The Buddy System on Steroids"
Tribal Immunity S40 michele tS40 nick t
S40 parvati tS40 wendell tS40 yul t
S40 denise tS40 jeremy t
S40 kim tS40 sandra tS40 tony t



  • Adam Klein, Jeremy Collins, and Laura Morett are the only castaways to compete in this challenge twice.
    • Laura won both times she competed, while Adam and Jeremy have each won once.


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