Whilst in London, waiting for some cargo that would never arrive, Herman and the skipper of the ship, Hans Flint, talked about taking the propeller off a nearby boat that looked as if it had no crew and sell it. After agreeing to split the money they would make fifty-fifty, the mate clambered onto the coaster (for Flint didn't make it) and used a spanner to free the propeller before getting it into the Elsa.
After sailing across the Channel into Germany, the ship headed for Borkum where there was a breaker's yard he could see the propeller. After selling the propeller, Flint refused to share the money fifty-fifty with Herman saying that he was far more at risk. Herman, in response, stole Flint's whisky and went to his cabins.
Whilst on the way to Cuxhaven, the bush around the propeller on the Elsa fell apart meaning water had to be pumped from the vessel. Herman stayed to the side, grumbling. After picking up the cargo, some immigrants, Flint then planned to take the people to a farmer in Essex where they would work without pay.