There was a chill in the air from an unexpected morning snowfall as members of the Spirit Warriors Dragon Boat team peeled back the tarp covering their boat.
"We're ready to go!" said Sandy Cooper, prompting a wave of giggles from the foursome gathered at Pioneer Park.
It was a joke, of course — a practice run on the South Thompson on Tuesday would have been an icy undertaking, even for these women, who have battled much more than cold weather.
No, Cooper and fellow paddlers Laima Brown, Midge King and Colleen Stromgren were simply inspecting the boat, making sure everything is set for the team's first practice of the season on April 30.
"It's an amazing feeling when you're out there on the river," said Stromgren, Spirit Warriors president.
"It's just all being together. We share so much with what we've gone through and we get out there and we have a good time."
With just a few weeks before their season opens, the Spirit Warriors are on a mission to boost their membership.
The team is looking for at least eight more breast cancer survivors to swell this season's roster to 30 paddlers.
Racing regattas require 20 paddlers, plus a drummer and a steersman. With the team's roster sitting at only 22, there's no room for illness, vacations or unexpected cancellations that could hamper the two or three races the team enters each summer.
"We welcome new (breast cancer) survivors to come out. We really do," said Stromgren.
"And we have so much to offer. We offer a lot of support and we have a ton of fun."
The Spirit Warriors Dragon Boat team practises twice a week — Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. — setting sail from the boat launch at Pioneer Park.
Anyone who would like to learn more about the team can call Stromgren at 250-578-7334 or vice-president Sandy Cooper at 778-471-3021.
Information can also be found online at www.spiritwarriors.ca.