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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 t.pngS19 dave t.pngS19 erik t.png
S19 john t.pngS19 kelly t.pngS19 laura t.pngS19 monica t.png
S19 russells t.pngS19 shambo t.pngS19 yasmin t.png
South Pacific
"Then There Were Five"
Duel S23 ozzy t.png
Ozzy Lusth
Blood vs. Water
"Gloves Come Off"
Duel S27 lauram t.png
Laura Morett
S27 tina t.png
Tina Wesson
"You Call, We'll Haul"
Team Reward S31 ciera t.pngS31 joe t.pngS31 keith t.png
S31 kelley t.pngS31 kelly t.pngS31 kimmi t.png
Ciera, Joe, Keith, Kelley, Kelly, & Kimmi
Millennials vs. Gen X
"Million Dollar Gamble"
Team Reward S33 adam t.pngS33 bret t.png
S33 hannah t.pngS33 sunday t.pngS33 zeke t.png
Adam, Bret, Hannah, Sunday, & Zeke
Winners at War
"The Buddy System on Steroids"
Tribal Immunity S40 michele t.pngS40 nick t.png
S40 parvati t.pngS40 wendell t.pngS40 yul t.png
S40 denise t.pngS40 jeremy t.png
S40 kim t.pngS40 sandra t.pngS40 tony t.png



  • 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.


Recurring Challenges
A Bit Dinghy · A Bit Tipsy · A Crate Idea · A Leg Up · A Numbers Game · Air Raid · Angry Chair · Around the Bend · Back in Slack · Balancing Point · Ballin' A Jack · Barrel Bridge · Barrel of Monkeys · Basket Brawl · Better Homes and Island Living · Beyond the Wheel · Blind Leading the Blind · Blue Lagoon Bustle · Blue Plate Special · Boats, Brains & Brawn · Bone to Pick · Boulder Smash · Bow Diddley · Box Your Mind · Braille Maze · Broken China · Buggin' Out · Build It Up, Break It Down · Butch Cassidy · By Any Means Necessary · By the Numbers · Can't Buoy Me Love · Cannonball Run · Caught in the Web · Cell Block Sea · Challenge Pitch · Chief's Choice · Chimney Sweep · Chinese Zodiac Symbols · Choose Your Weapon · Coconut Juice · Crate Escape · Crocodile Rock · Crosswalk · Cube Crisis · Dear Liza · Dive Masters · Domino Effect · Draggin' the Dragon · Dragging the River · Drop A Log · Dulcimer Stomp · End of the Line · Fallen Comrades · Fast Fire · Faulty Towers · Fauxconut Bowling · Fire and Water · Fire Fighter · Float Your Boat · Floating Puzzle · Game of Bridge · Gatecrasher · Get a Grip · Get Barreled · Get Hooked · Get Your Goat · Gimme Three Steps · Great Escape Run · Hands on a Hard Idol · Hear About It Ladder · Hot Pursuit · House of Cards · House of the Holey · Idol Hands · Jail Break · Jump Shot · Jungle Love · Jungle Relay · Kamikaze · Keel Hauling · Keep It Up · Keep on Your Toes · Kenny Log-Ins · Kicking and Screaming · Kitty Litter · Know Your Loved One · Ladder Tree Golf · Last Gasp · Letter Hunt · Lock, Load and Light · Lock Step · Log Jam · Losing Face · Mask Match · Matchmaker · Matt Finish · Memory · Mud Pack · Mud Slide · Muddy Waters · New School · New Tribe Member · Nut Bucket · O-Black Water · Odd Shaped Bottoms · Operation Balance Build · Out on a Limb · Over-Extended · Paddle Battle · Paddle Out · Perch · Pilfering Pirates · Piranha Feast · Pole Dancing · Pot Head · Push Me, Pull You · Puzzle Dig · Pyramid Scheme · Q and A · Quest for Fire · Race to Shore · Ram-Ball On · Rescue Mission · Rice Race · Rise and Shrine · Rock Bottom · Rock n' Roll · Rod Screw-It · Roll With It · Roller Ball · Running Down a Dream · · Sacrificial Lamb · Schmergen Brawl · Sea Crates · Sea Legs · Sea Salvage · Shipwrecked · Shoot 'n' Shuffle · Shooting Gallery · Shoulder the Load · Simmotion · Slip, Slide & Score · Slither Me Timbers · Smash and Grab · Snag, Drag and Bag · Snake in the Grass · Snake Island Relay · SOS Signal · Spear-it Hunt · Spit It Out · Splash Back · Sprung A Leak · Squared Off · Squatty Probst · Stacked Up · Stairway to Heaven · Stairway to the Stars · Star Man · Station By Station · Step on Up · Stomp-ede · Strung Out · Sumo at Sea · Survivor Auction · Survivor History · Survivor Pentathlon · Survivor Quiz Show · Swahili Scramble · Swing Break · Temple Transfer · The Ball Drop · The Cruel Sea · The Game is Afoot · The Gauntlet · The Home Stretch · The Maze · The Obstacle Course · This Much · Thrash, Splash & Bash · TLP O-Course · Tomb Raider · Troubled Water · Uncomfortably Numb · United We Stand · Vampire Bats · Vertically Challenged · Vertigo · Wall to Wall · Well Stacked · What-er Drag · When It Rains, It Pours · Wicker Flicker · Will It Go Round · Witch Hunt · Wrist Assured · Yank Your Hank · You Shook Me