Vashon Island lies across Commencement Bay from Ruston, a small town on the north tip of Tacoma. The crossing takes about 20 minutes and brings commuters from Vashon to Tacoma and returns them home again. Our usual ferry has been undergoing maintenance, so the Chetzenoka (pictured) has been substituted. In my 34 years of living in Tacoma I've ridden the ferry twice. Once with Linda to drive around the island and enjoy its rural sites, and once I walked on with my two girls. We sailed across and sailed back, watching the vehicles unload in between.