Late start today - we were waiting for Paul and Elaine to join us for the trip up the Bosley Locks.
In the end only Paul arrived as Elaine was not feeling the best - and we sympathised for her.
But Paul was looking ready for it - a huge smile on his face - but looked under protected for the weather that we were sure would come.
Quickly we found a routine between the three of us, with each taking a turn on the boat and before we knew it we were at the top of the locks, moored up and taking on water; emptying the cassette; dumping the rubbish; drying off and enjoying morning tea.
A brief rain storm hit us halfway through and Paul got a bit wet; so he needed time to warm up and dry out a bit.
We know of Paul's love of TimTams so they remained well hidden - saving them for another day - it was just sausage rolls, brownies and chocolates - and a doggie bag for him to take home to share with Elaine.
No matter where it is, help through locks is always appreciated and this flight and this was most welcome.
We carried on for a few more miles with our aim being Gurnett Aqueduct, where we have moored before and quite enjoy, but primarily we wanted to visit Sutton Hall again - I suspect that Diane had long planned to eat out there that night.
She was very keen to head off after we had moored up and sitting by the open fire, warming up and enjoying a drink was a perfect pre-cursor for a meal.
We were pleased with the meals - the prices perhaps a bit dearer than some other places but it was lovely.
We explored a bit of Macclesfield on Tuesday - markets, visitor centre, farmshop - and spent another night there, returning again to Sutton Hall, this time only for drinks with Paul and Elaine, who was feeling much better.
Paul had dragged her only on a route march during the day - probably didn't start off to be so far but 6 miles later, even the dogs were exhausted.
Anyway it was very good to see her - in fact to see all of them - Bombo and Sammie included.
We woke to find a light covering of snow - it was quite cold and snow had settled hard so it stayed around all day.
One thing we have definitely noticed about cruising at this time of the year is the need to keep an eye on the weather reports and with strong winds and very low temperatures on the way we headed off towards Bollington.
From the top of the Bosley Locks we have had problems which seem to be best described as low water levels or the canal bottom being too close to the top of the water and therefore really struggled moving - this continued to Bollington but now we were picking up crap when going through every bridge hole.
The usual fix of reversing the prop worked most times but on one occasion I had to resort to lifting the weed hatch and sticking my hand down into freezing water - I cleared away some plastic and after a while I couldn't feel anything else around the prop - in fact it was so cold I just couldn't feel anything at all.
Finally made it in not such a bad time, moored up on the aqueduct and then went off to visit Elaine and Paul - Diane, of course, went via the chippy.
They have a lovely house and very comfortable and we spent a warm couple of hours with them.
The high winds are causing a few problems with the Refleks stove but nothing insurmountable - will be checking on whether an extra extension piece is best or a H-down draft cap is better.
Anyway it is lovely and warm inside the boat; the football is on the TV and all is right with this part of the world.
9 miles, 12 locks, 1 swing bridge
YTD: 36 Miles, 25 Locks, 1 Tunnel, 1 Swing Bridge
Totals: 2930 Miles, 2146 Locks, 99 Tunnels, 34