After reading the helpful suggestions in the comments section the directions given by Netherlands and Tyler jogged my memory. I remembered taking the boat from Menethil Harbor although where it might have been going was another question.
My recollections of setting sail from Booty Bay were a lot clearer. I was reasonably sure that ship came to land somewhere off the Barrens Coast.
Looking at the map showed Invasions taking place in Northern Barrens and Tanaris. I was in Dun Morogh at the time, closer to Menethil than Booty Bay. I spoke to the Griffin Master and took a catbird across Wetlands.
Since The Cataclysm I've scarcely set foot outside of the various racial starting areas. I don't have a picture of what's changed or how. Arriving at Menethil I found the town flooded but the docks still seemed to be in operation.
Typically, the only ship in sight pulled away from the pier just as I arrived. I hopped on my griffin and tried to catch it up but it outpaced me and vanished. I turned back to the docks, where a bunch of pirates were standing on the dockside, staring morosely at the masts of a sunken ship poking out of the water.
I listened to them talking among themselves for a while. Then I left them to it and settled down to wait. It was only a few minutes before the big ship returned. I boarded it and waited some more. I was the only passenger, which should have set off warning bells, but I was just happy to be on board and I didn't think anything of it.
The captain didn't hang around. In a couple of minutes we were under way. To Northrend.
In retrospect I probably should have guessed the destination from the appearance of the vessel. Like the gnomish icebreaker that used to ply the waves between North Ro and Iceclad Ocean, this was a ship clearly designed for northern waters.
The trip was a scenic one, with the great cliffs looming above as the captain navigated a narrow channel between. I stood at the rail and watched as we maneuvered alongside the dock of a settlement. I made a mental note to return when the Burning Legion retire to lick their wounds or whatever bested demons do. Then I let the boat carry me back to Menethil.
Standing once again in the hammering rain it occurred to me that the wreckage of the "pirate" ship in the harbor might well be all that remained of the old ferry to Kalimdor. Certainly it seemed no other ship was going to come.
I squelched back through the rain to the Griffin Master and took up the reins once again, this time for Booty Bay. It was a long flight but at least it gave me the chance to dry out.
As the griffin swooped down over the planks and rigging of the goblin city I felt a rush of nostalgia. I'd spent many lively hours running up and down the confusing ramps, racing in and out of huts, doing ...something. I can't quite remember what. I know I did a lot of it, though.
This time the deck of the goblin-crewed ship was crowded with adventurers, all waiting impatiently astride their motley mounts for the journey to begin. We didn't have long to wait. The ship sailed promptly, there was a flash of the map and within just a minute or two we came in sight of the ramshackle port of Ratchet.
No-one waited for the boat to dock. With a flurry of wings and scales the whole contigent of passengers took to the air, myself among them. The lurid green sky-rent that told of demonic invasion was all the signpost we needed.
So, now I know how to get to Kalimdor. It's not difficult but it does take a while. The views are stunning so it's time well spent, in a way. You certainly can't fault the worldliness. Still, and even though my forty-year old self would be having conniptions at the thought of the lazy bum I've become, I have to say that I'd take GW2's waypoints or even EQ2's bells if they were offered.
Anyway, I've now sampled all six invasion sites and I can put them in order of preference according to how well-balanced they are between fun and profit. The running order, from least enjoyable to most enjoyable, from an Alliance perspective:
Hillsbrad Foothills - a pain to get to from anywhere; awkward to fight among the buildings; graveyard annoyingly far away; Horde NPCs re-agro soon after event ends and kill you if you hang around sorting your bags.
Azshara - A long flight; annoying geography; disturbingly close to Ogrimmar; the Goblin Trade Prince's "encouragement" is predictably infuriating.
Dun Morogh - Very easy to get to, especially when you have your characters bound in Ironforge like me; fighting in the village of Kharanos is claustrophobic and the NPC chatter is distracting; trees get in the way in phase two; dwarven exhortations can be an acquired taste, especially with the Brigadoon Touring Company accents.
Westfall- A very short flight from Dun Morogh, making these a good pair to do in succession; reasonably open fighting area; good options to solo demons in phase two.
Northern Barrens - Easy access from Ratchet; good, flat, open landscape makes it easy to see and get to bosses; Crossroads is an iconic destination and defending it feels "important" (that might just be me...)
Tanaris - Straightforward and fairly quick trip from Crossroads making them a good pair; by far the best area to kill bosses in phase two because of excellent line of sight and very flat, uncluttered desert landscape; Gadgetzan is a full service hub with a bank; goblin yelling is funny.
Having finally got all this straight no doubt it will all change again in today's update as we go into the final week. Whatever, I'm having fun!