Yes, its very unfortunate on the very slight cropping of the tail tip. Its extremely difficult to get good shots hovering on a float line in the chop.
For this shot, I actually dove down about 6-8', blew out my air to get pretty much neutral and aimed the camera at this guy. As I slowly floated up, I quickly took the shot... and the whale investigated me with its 'sound' (its not technically sonar). I felt my chest vibrating in a most unnatural way! But, its curiousity had it following me up in a head on position which was great.
As for the blowing out of the brightness, its real. It was incredibly difficult taking images in 10' of water (you can see the particulate too!) of a subject which was a mixture of dark grey and white. I hated the fact that I can't afford to house my d70 and had to use the 5050. Exposure control was pitiful.
There... done whining now. I did manage to get some nice shots, even if sections are a bit blown IMO.