Bayou Chico is located off Pensacola Bay at its northeastern end just west of the Pensacola Bay Fixed Bridge (50-foot vertical clearance). Inside the creek inlet are a variety of marine and marina services, and as such, Bayou Chico is usually busy and filled with recreational boaters coming and going in a seemingly endless flow. The image above is a view from the east looking west over the inlet.
Use NOAA Chart 11378.
Bayou Chico is approached from the southeast via Pensacola Bay. From Pensacola Bay, first set a course to intercept flashing red “2,” which is located in the vicinity of waypoint 30 23.538N 87 13.732W. Once you have picked up flashing red “2,” set a course of about 313 degrees magnetic for around .8 mile making sure to honor the following marks on your approach to the Bayou Chico Inlet: Red daybeacon “4,” flashing green “5,”red daybeacon “6,” green daybeacon “7,” red nun buoy “8,” and flashing red “10” at the entrance to the creek (visible above on the right side of the channel). Depths on the approach range from five to eight feet.
Just to starboard on entry (after the Pensacola Yacht Club) is the well-equipped Bahia Mar Marina, which has transient slips, gas and diesel fuel, 50-ton lift, a ships store with groceries, ice and supplies, laundry, and restrooms/showers. Farther upstream past the 65-foot fixed vertical clearance bridge are three additional marinas, two of which have repairs and one that has a 50-ton lift for haul-outs and related repair services. Crowded with frequent boat traffic and fairly narrow, Bayou Chico is not a popular place to drop the hook.
See our “Local Notices to Mariners” blog for updates on the latest conditions and advisories for this area.