The river had widened some, but we had drifted a little off the center and the eastern bank was only a few dozen yards away. I tried paddling hard with my hands for a few minutes to see if we could reach the bank, but we didn't move perceptibly. without a pole or some way to paddle, it was hopeless. Chapter 8 Pg 110
I know this is a man vs nature conflict because Jamie is trying to paddle but nature is not letting him so they are fighting and nature won.
Sadly the outcome of this conflict was nature winning and Jamie giving up.