Depending on the terrain, stance, and stealth you opponent has and your person's vision you can be right next to him and not even see him. The one exception is you can always see an opponent next to you if you are standing.
You can change your player's name by clicking on their name when it is displayed in the upper right corner.
Parameters for Running Pirate Battles
nosound--Turns off all sound when starting Pirate Battles. Have to use the Sound menu item of the Options pull down menu to turn the various sound back on.
Map: Displays the whole island. Black signifies what parts of the island haven't been explored yet. Blue dots are your navs. Red dots signify pirates that can be seen. If there is a blinking yellow dot, it's the pirate who was last seen moving. The blinking white dot represents your selected nav. The playing field will center on the portion of the map that you left click the mouse on.